In non-pandemic times, the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities serve an average of 150 kids daily in each of their 11 branches: five in Minneapolis, three in St. Paul, two in Richfield and the Voyageur Environmental Learning Center in Mound.

Those branches are closed during the coronavirus pandemic, but the organization devised an outreach program to stay in contact with each member.

“Our first step was to do wellness checks with members and their families,” said Shannon Mattson, vice president of development and communication. “Ensure connectivity to the internet, make sure they have the right technology, discuss mental health issues, food and security. We want to stay connected with the kids.”

The clubs also packed and served about 11,000 meals per week to members’ families at no cost to the members. They also worked with school districts to assist with needs related to distance learning.

“All of our clubs are in high-need communities. We try to provide the extra support families need and give the kids a place to go, to see a friend or if they need safe places to be,” Mattson said.

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