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The May Dugan Center in Cleveland has to double their food distributions monthly to keep up with community needs

May Dugan Food Drive.
Posted at 4:00 PM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-08 18:37:29-04

CLEVELAND — The May Dugan Center has been a critical resource for families struggling to make ends meet and keep food on the table. Since the pandemic started, the center has had to double their monthly food distributions just to keep up with the demand.

Thousands of families came through the center on Thursday to pick up food.

"I have a family of four, and what I don’t use I actually spread around to the community around my neighborhood,” said Ron Smith.

Some folks who come to the May Dugan center are embarrassed because they’ve never needed a food bank before. So many more though, are just grateful.

Gwen Johnson lost her job, and has her granddaughter to care for.

"I really appreciate them and this is a blessing. This is a blessing,” said Johnson.

The May Dugan Center plans to feed nearly 3,000 families Thursday, that’s 600 more than their last distribution.

About 65% of the folks they’ve served two weeks ago were there for the first time.

"We’re here to make sure that food is accessible for people at this very difficult time,” said Brenda Saridakis, the May Dugan Center's director of development.

To keep up with the growing demand at a dire time the nonprofit is relying on private and company donations.

"Heinen’s grocery stores were kind enough to donate, in collaboration with the Cleveland Food Bank, food from their stores to make sure there was food accessible,” said Saridakis.

All of their volunteers are working hard to meet a need, but food distribution isn’t the only thing the May Dugan center is offering right now.

"We have our mental health counseling and we continue to accept new admissions,” said Saridakis. "We use telehealth so we are practicing safe methods in providing support for people.”

But the most immediate need now is food. Thousands of new families need help and food banks across Northeast Ohio are bursting at the seams, begging the state for help and pushing for donations more than ever before.

To learn more about the May Dugan Center click here or give them a call (216) 631-5800.

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