COVID-19 Community Service with A&R Program

G.A Family Services Accountability and Responsibility program is one of the many local community service providers that have had to get creative and come up with some effective problem solving ideas in order to adjust the program and able to meet the needs of the youth and families they serve due to the COVID-19 Global pandemic.

The accountability and Responsibility program acts as an after-school leadership program that works with at risk teens in the community. One way the program supports the youth is by providing the youth with three meals weekly while they are a part of the program. However, with the global pandemic of COVID-19 going on this did not allow the A&R program to serve the youth as they normally would as face to face contact is not allowed.

This caused for the A&R program to have to think outside the box and come up with ways that we could still help the youth and community out. The program decided that one way they could help the families and still check in with the youth is to do weekly grocery drop offs. This program decision was approved and supported by Chautauqua County as well as the program’s director Ericka Garcia-Allison and program manager Debra Hasson.

With many groceries stores being short on food and limited on supplies the program had to brain storm on a way to get enough groceries to serve 9 families. That is when the collaboration of working with Jamestown’s Save A-lot had come into play.

Save A-Lot agreed to prepare grocery assortments for each of the nine families. Save a-lot stuck to the program’s budget and was very accommodating and friendly during the entire process. Once the program got to save a lot for pick up all of the items were sorted, boxed, bagged, numbered and ready to go to the youth and families.

The program is beyond grateful that even during this hard time our local save a lot is so happy and quick to help. Save- A lot has agreed to work alongside with GA once a week until the program can go back to normal.
GA family Services would not be able to effectively serve the families and youth without the help of save-a lot. The A&R program will continue to support the youth and families by continuing to do weekly grocery drop offs as well as care packages that include toiletries and activities for the youth and family to keep busy with.

The families of the program have expressed their gratitude to the program staff for the extra relief support.

The program staff members, Breanne emery (lead group facilitator) and Billy Torres (group Facilitator) along with the management of GA Family services want to express their gratitude to Save a lot and their management for making it easier to help us help our youth and families.