Takenya Bonner works recording information at a Thomson Family Y food distribution in Thomson in the early days of the pandemic.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Thomson Family Y has been providing families with meals and other resources. Once schools shut down in the McDuffie County area the Family Y realized they might have to provide meals. When summer camp rolled around, they also fed the campers breakfast, lunch, and snacks, according to Taylor Gallups, program director for the Thomson Family Y. “A lot of our big giving’s 

started coming in when school was starting to get back in session and we had sports,” Gallups said. Over Christmas, the local Family Y fed a lot of people. They fed roughly 500 in Dearing, 40 meals in Harlem, 585 to the Thomson Housing Authority, and 175 meals to Warren County, according to Gallups. The Family Y is continuing to give on a weekly basis as they are giving out meals every Tuesday. Around 50 meals are being given out to families. “When it comes to other meals within Warrenton, we gave out 250 meals every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday over Christmas and that was 750 a week of just meals there,” Gallups said. The Family YMCA of Greater Augusta gave out roughly over one million meals in total and around 75,000 meals around Christmas time, according to Gallups. The Thomson location is part of the larger greater Augusta organization. Meals aren’t the only thing the Family Y has been offering during the pandemic. Internet and supervision is something that the Family Y is offering in case anyone doesn’t have the necessary resources to complete something for school. “The biggest fear for me is literally is that the kids are not going to pass due to lack of resources,” Gallups said. The Family Y is reaching out to people in Warrenton in case anyone needs any help with anything. The main goal is to help with school system. According to Gallups, another goal of his is pushing people to get memberships and to get out of the house, and also to get healthy. “Depression and anxiety, all these things can be helped with a gym,” Gallups said. “Simply just working off your stress or getting healthier and things like that”. As for future events, a Father-Daughter tea party in Feb. is something Gallups was looking at for the Family Y to host. This would be something that allows families to create memories and still practice social distancing. According to Gallups, the community coming together is nothing new for the McDuffie County area. “I think the biggest thing is McDuffie County we need your help,” Gallups said. “We need places to go and places to put these children because if we all work together, imagine what we could do”.

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