KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Police Athletic League in Kansas City, Kansas, is reaching out to families in the community to help put food on the table.
The league normally mentors around 800 children, but had to switch gears due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Matt Tomasic, director of the Police Athletic League, said families started reaching out to them for help.
"We thought about some things we could do to help, you know, be part of this solution and one of them was to have a food pantry," Tomasic said.
The league has a garden with lettuce and kale right now, as well as 10 chickens that produce six to 12 eggs daily, to help feed families.
Kansas City, Kansas, police officer Patrick Locke works with Tomasic on the league and said they will continue to add to the garden throughout the summer.
"We'll have an abundance of fresh vegetables to hand out, so that definitely won't go to waste," Locke said.
The league said Harvesters also helped out tremendously by dropping off 40 boxes of items for the children.
"The garden will be the place where we can get kids in right away, with of course social distancing," Tomasic said. "We have chickens, we have beehives and last year we harvested 120 pounds of honey. We have plenty of educational opportunities for the kids to come here and still comply with safety rules."
Tomasic said they knew many of the children in the program had parents who worked in the hotel and restaurant industries – two of the hardest hit industries from the statewide stay-at-home orders.
"This has caused everyone to slow down and maybe reevaluate it a bit figure out what's important," he said, "and I think we're going to come out of this stronger than we were before, better than we were before."