TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Throughout the summer, the Clay County Youth Food Delivery program served food to nearly 500 kids on a biweekly basis. 

With kids back in school, the program is shifting its schedule to best serve the community’s needs.

“The school program delivers less food because we’re just feeding them for the weekends. It’s weekly instead of biweekly that we’re sending everything out,” Mercedes Hall, a volunteer for the group, said.

She added Clay County families can still sign up for the program, which will start in the next few weeks.

Catholic Charities is providing kids in need an afternoon snack and dinner at the Ryves Youth Center everyday from 2-8.

They are also offering resources to help kids with school.

“We understand that it’s important to be able to provide those educational activities for children, but you notice that we’re rooted in the nutrition first,” Jennifer Buell, the assistant agency director for the organization, said. “They come in and have a snack, an evening meal, and the tutoring and homework help and reading programs and mentoring are all there and available as well.”

Buell emphasized the importance of making sure kids everyday nutritional needs are met consistently.

“The basis of children’s development, physical and cognitive development, really is in nutrition,” she said. “If they aren’t well fed, if they aren’t receiving the nutrition that they need for their bodies to grow and develop, they’re going to be behind.”

Buell also said the youth center is accepting applications for a preschool program meant to assist those in need.

“The preschool is a full day program, starts at eight in the morning, goes until about 4, 4:30 in the afternoon. It is a kindergarten readiness program. It is free of financial cost to the families who participate. But we focus on those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness,” she said.

Buell said those interested in the program can contact Tanja Gardner with the Ryves Youth Center at 812-235-1265.