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MAKING A MARK: Peninsula outreach center helps vulnerable neighbors during COVID-19

During the pandemic, schools are closed and jobs are disrupted. People are also struggling to meet their daily needs. Grove Christian Outreach Center is helping.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — While some community programs have shut down during the pandemic, a nonprofit in Williamsburg is still offering a helping hand.

"Closing our doors simply was not an option, because the working poor became the unworking poor," said Katie Patrick, Executive Director of Grove Christian Outreach Center. The nonprofit serves at-risk and disadvantaged populations in and around the Grove neighborhood of Williamsburg.

The faith-based group is helping more people amid the crisis than ever before. "Prior to the pandemic, Grove Christian Outreach Center was serving anywhere between 120 to 140 families per month," said Patrick. "Since mid-March, and when we started serving weekly... we're serving anywhere between 150 to 190 families a week." 

While some of its services-- like clothing distribution-- are suspended, the organization continues to provide financial assistance as well as pack and give out food boxes to its neighbors in need. "We're providing frozen protein items, dairy, milk, eggs-- things that allow families to feel nourished, to feel like they're able to provide the basic necessities for themselves and for their children," said Patrick.

The nonprofit needs financial help, pantry donations, and volunteers to continue fighting food insecurity and other obstacles during this challenging time. "It's more important, I think, now than ever to make sure that people feel well-fed, that they feel well taken care of, so they can focus on other important things that are going on," said Patrick.

For more information about Grove Christian Outreach Center, visit http://groveoutreach.com/index.html. You can also check out the group on Facebook.

To learn more about supporting the nonprofit, visit http://groveoutreach.com/volunteer.html or http://groveoutreach.com/donate.html.

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