Poor turnout for free meals program

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -- The COVID-19 pandemic is drastically changing a free-meal program at the local boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows and it seems these changes are confusing the very people it is designed to help.

Boys & Girls Club employee, Angelica Brown, gives children a free meal during the organization's grab and go program at 1090 Bresson Avenue in Reno.

A normally bustling kitchen is now still and silent and the cafeteria is shut down.
The Federal Government and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have shut down the free meal programs at Boys and Girls Clubs across the nation, but have approved of another program in its place called grab and go.

"The grab and go option is brand new. So families don't have to come into the building and eat. The food doesn't have to stay in a certain area," said CEO for the Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows, Mike Wurm.

Boys and Girls Club employees stand outside with prepared meals, but most of the time they wait. Before the COVID-19 pandemic the Club at 1090 Bresson Avenue in Reno would serve 150 to 190 kids a day, said Boys and Girls Club employee, Lupe Sexton.

During Wednesday's lunch served March 18, 2020 only six meals were served.

"Right now we've talked about this lasting three weeks that's the date that's out there for the school. I think it's reasonable to assume this could go longer than that and I know, we're prepared to go longer than April 6th," Wurm said.

The grab and go program will continue for as long as school is out.

Below is a letter from the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows with complete details about times and locations for free meals:

March 16, 2020

Greetings Parents & Guardians,

The Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows has been granted by the Nevada Department of
Agriculture the ability to begin serving box lunch breakfast and lunch meals as of Tuesday,
March 17, at our five main sites located in Reno:

• 2680 E. Ninth Street (Donald W. Reynolds)
• 1300 Foster Drive (William N. Pennington)
• 1090 Bresson Avenue (Carano Youth Center)
• 3905 Neil Road (Neil Road Youth Center)
• 325 Patrician Drive (Lemmon Valley Youth Center)

Delivery of meals will be through a drive-by service only, with BGCTM staff members
delivering an appropriate amount of meals to each vehicle seeking assistance. Although those
seeking service are not required to be a BGCTM member, in accordance with US Department of
Agriculture policy, meals can only be provided to kids 18 years of age and younger (only
solid food meals will be available).

There is no purchase price for the meals. Breakfast service at each site will begin at 8:30 a.m.,
with lunch service at 11:30 a.m. Service will be available Mondays through Fridays until further


Mike Wurm, CEO Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows

Copyright KOLO-TV 2020


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