Despite closing clubs, Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County still providing free meals for any community children in need

 

MARTIN COUNTY—With precautions around COVID-19 prompting the temporary closure of its four clubs, Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County is unfortunately currently unable to provide its signature safe havens and positive mentorships for its nearly 2,000 club members.

But that hasn’t stopped it from providing its club members—as well as youth across the county—with free meals.

Starting immediately, the nonprofit organization is launching a food relief effort to minimize the stress and uncertainly further afflicting the vulnerable populations that comprise the bulk of its membership.

“Right now, there’s a shared sense of anxiousness about how the coronavirus impacts and response will continue interrupting daily life,” says Keith “Fletch” Fletcher, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County. “But when you live with hunger and uncertainly about where your next meal is coming from, the anxiousness never goes away. Sadly, that’s a reality for many of our members. They depend on the clubs for meals, and we’re not going to let them down—even and especially during this difficult situation.”

Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County will provide free meals to children under age 18—whether they are club members or not—now through Sunday, March 22. Meals are available for pick up at the four club locations:

  • Cole-Clark Club, 11500 SE Lares Ave., Hobe Sound
  • Bill & Barbara Whitman Club, 17375 SW Palm Beach St., Indiantown
  • H. Wayne Huizenga Club, 1150 SW Martin Downs Blvd., Palm City
  • John & Marge Bolton Club, 4731 SE Flounder Ave., Stuart

Meals provided include dinner and a snack. Provisions can be picked up drive-through style outside the clubs from 4 to 7 p.m. through Sunday. Those receiving can accept the meals regardless if they arrive on foot, by bike or by car.

While 11 percent of Martin County residents reportedly qualify as food insecure, such numbers are particularly concentrated among the members of Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County.  More than 85 percent of the Clubs membership qualifies for the Martin County School District’s free/reduced meals program—nearly twice the average districtwide. Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County serves more than 100,000 free meals to members every year. Membership in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County is free.

 

Additional support

Starting March 23 through March 27, the Martin County School District’s Food & Nutrition Services Department with open its Summer Meals Program, serving breakfast and lunch to children under age 18 from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Locations include:

  • J.D. Parker Rockets, 1010 E. 10th St., Stuart
  • Port Salerno Elementary School, 3260 SE Lionel Terrace, Stuart
  • Warfield Elementary School, 15260 SW 150th Street, Indiantown

For individuals needing additional assistance, Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County recommends contacting any of its nonprofit partners—House of Hope, The Salvation Army, Love and Hope in Action (LAHIA), Meals on Wheels, the Treasure Coast Food Bank or by dialing 211.

About the Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County

For more than 29 years, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County has provided award-winning programs designed to guide and inspire young people ages 6-18 to learn, emphasizing citizenship and good character, academics and healthy lifestyles. Each of the four clubs enjoys strong partnerships with local schools and communities. Such cohesion ensures that Boys & Girls Clubs’ programs complement and enrich the curriculum our members learn in class as well as remain attuned to the challenges and opportunities they face on a day-to-day basis. The clubs offer opportunities for fun, fitness, S.T.E.A.M. activities and certified teacher work with club members on everything from tutoring and homework help to specialized courses that prepare them for careers in a variety of trades.