Children age 18 and under can pick-up a free meal at the Hibernia Fire Station every Friday from 3:00pm to 4:00pm beginning October 2.
The program, which began in March 2019, is a partnership of the Allentown Health Bureau, Greater Valley YMCA and International Association of Fire Fighters Local 302. It had to be suspended this past March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program resumes “Grab and Go” style, with bagged meals prepared by the Greater Valley YMCA and served by the fire union. Everyone receives a bundle of meals to cover the weekend.
“This proven program keeps children fed over the weekend,” said Allentown Mayor Ray O’Connell. “With all Allentown School District students qualifying for free and reduced school meals and with significant levels of food insecurity experienced in many Allentown families, this partnership meets a critical need.”
David Fagerstrom, President and CEO at the Greater Valley YMCA, shares “We know 1 in 6 children struggle with hunger, according to Feeding America. At the Y, we’re committed to healthy living, youth development, and social responsibility - and we are a partner on this project so that the Y can provide food and nutrition to our community members in need. This Firehouse Fridays feeding program aligns perfectly with the Y mission and areas of focus; for the Y, it’s another great collaboration with the city and another important connection to the community.”
Local 302 President Jeremy Warmkessel said, “IAFF Local 302 embraces the opportunity to partner with the City of Allentown and Greater Lehigh Valley Y in providing meals to the children of our Allentown.”
O’Connell praised the Greater Valley YMCA and Local 302 for their participation in the program. “Exceptional things happen when as a community, as a city, we come together to help those who need it most.”