CLAY COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The Clay County Youth Food Delivery Program, an organization that helps ensure local students have sufficient access to food, says it is in severe need of donations.
It costs the program $35,000 a year to feed 1,000 kids during their holiday breaks. Nicole Fry, executive branch director for the Clay County YMCA, said donations from CenterPoint, Duke Energy and the community are a really big help.
“They’re our biggest one time funders for this,” Fry said. “So we know there’s a gap that we have to fill. It takes us reaching out to the community and letting them know what our needs are. It’s amazing how many individuals and churches and businesses step up to help support our efforts.”
The group placed an order for just around 35,000 dollars to feed kids for Christmas, but now the group only has enough money to last them until Jan. 14, meaning they will need more money to feed kids through the remainder of the school year and the summer months. Fry said the rising cost of groceries has also been an issue.
“We’re having to adjust the counts that we give to the kids and making adjustments to the orders that we have,” she said. “Making sure orders are placed in enough time to get the product.”
In addition to planning their fundraising efforts, the group also relies heavily on its volunteers to help pull off the annual Christmas delivery.
“The amount of people we have to organize is insane,” volunteer Kamryn Kikta said. “We have to have people organize the routes where we take the food to the kids. You don’t want someone doing that by themselves. Then we have the people that load the food on to the vehicles. It’s just a very large group effort.”
Kikta said during her seven years as a volunteer, the program continued to grow.
“It’s a life changing experience,” she said. “You never really know what some of these kids are going through. You never know how to feel about it until you see it for yourself. So give it a try, go on a route, deliver with somebody and you’ll see why we all love it.”
This year’s Christmas delivery will take place on Dec. 18. To sign up or learn more information about the program, click here.