YMCA launches free market for children and families

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – It seems the prices of everything from gas to groceries and electric bills are going up, but the YMCA is trying to ease the financial burden by serving hot meals and snacks to hundreds of children every day.

When Lacie Stover, director of youth development at the YMCA of Kanawha Valley, noticed a child was hungry, she realized that some had unmet needs.

“Let me know that when they got home they were hungry and worried about their brother being hungry, who was a toddler, and that kid was really worried about having food for him. baby home,” Stover said.

Stover and Sarah Bolyard, CEO and President of the YMCA of the Kanawha Valley, came up with the idea of ​​creating a donation and volunteer market so that children would go home on weekends with food to eat.

“We really try to focus on the basics, so shampoo, conditioner, diapers, baby food, basically lots of portable snacks that a kid can open up on the weekends,” Bolyard said.

The market is completely free and anonymous for children and parents. It will be open from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays in November.

“I think a lot of families are in a rush right now with prices for anything. It’s just the way the world works right now, but we’re going to focus on those kids,” Bolyard said.

Stover said the YMCA needs volunteers to work the two hours each Thursday at the market. The Kanawha Valley YMCA will accept donations in the market lobby during business hours.

Anyone needing to go to the market can go through the back door, and kids using the YMCA market will take the items home in their backpacks.

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