Columbus, OH (WOWK) – Children and families across Ohio impacted by the coronavirus pandemic are getting a little extra boost with emergency meals supplied by Children’s Hunger Alliance.

The Columbus-based nonprofit distributed 18,000 ready-to-eat meals to 27 community partner agencies throughout Ohio to help feed children experiencing disruptions amid the pandemic crisis.

“We already had 18,000 ready-to-eat meals initially intended to be distributed to eight schools before the start of their week-long spring break,” President and CEO Judy Mobley says.

After Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine mandated an early start to an extended spring break in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, CHA decided to reallocate the meals to meet the immediate needs of children amid the crisis.

“Within a day of the Ohio Community Action Agency asking me, ‘Do you have access to any meals?’, I received more requests than we could fill,” Mobley says. “People are reaching out every day asking if we can help. We’re committed to feeding kids whose needs aren’t being met.”

The deployment of the meals started on Monday and concluded today with over 400 meals delivered to Meigs County and 1,000 meals delivered to Pike County early this morning.

Debbie Cundiff, emergency services manager of Gallia-Meigs Community Action Agency, says there has been a tremendous outpouring of support from the community since DeWine announced the cancellation of classes.

School busses have started distributing meals to students, and churches and organizations are rallying together to help each other out.

The emergency meals they received today will help feed developmentally disabled children as well as pre-school children enrolled at Head Start in both Gallia and Meigs Counties.

“They know that we have the food and I think they’re picking up today,” Cundiff says. “It’s going to go out into the places where the children are, they’re going to be able to have meals. We’re here to help families, and elderly, and people out here in any way we can, and this is going to have an impact on the children. We’re going to know that they’re going to at least have something to eat during the time that they will not be in school.”

Barb Davis, Early Childhood Director of Pike Community Action, says there is a high need in Pike County along with opioid and drug addiction issues, and kinship care for abandoned children that strain families’ budget for food.

The 1,000 emergency meals they received today will be delivered to families that struggle to make ends meet and lack transportation to access food. These meals will let kids will eat.

“We appreciate the 1,000 meals we received and will be working very quickly today to identify those families in need and will get them out as quickly as possible,” Davis says.

Children’s Hunger Alliance is asking the community to donate to their emergency meal fund by visiting if they are looking for ways to support children and families impacted by the pandemic.