Our commitment to creating safe, equitable and engaging Club experiences for ALL young people is always our number one priority.
Our Club locations have been closed for in-person youth programming since March 17, 2020 in accordance with state guidance for the COVID-19 response plan. This, in and of itself, posed alarming levels of challenge as evolving data shows the COVID-19 outbreak will have disproportionate health and economic impacts on the communities we serve. School closures, work disruptions, and quarantines strike hard at individuals and families who already lack resources and access to services.
In addition to COVID-19, our communities have also recently experienced the horrific death of George Floyd, and the resounding call for justice and an examination of how systemic racism has and continues to affect people of color in our country. BGCTC recognizes the deep pain and feelings of fatigue over injustices Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities face every day and we remain committed to fighting against racism and inequities wherever and however they exist. Acts of injustice against black Americans like George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Christian Cooper and countless others, leave an ingrained mark on young people, particularly BIPOC youth.
As we begin to reopen our Clubs, there is nothing more important than the safety and well-being of our youth and families. Clubs are a safe space, and we remain committed to championing inclusivity, equity, and opportunity for our young people. Now, more than ever, we have a responsibility to do better by our young people, to speak up for them, and provide them a platform where their voices can be heard and be part of the much-needed systemic change in our nation . Today, and every day, we stand in peace and unity with the communities we serve.
Increased Supports to Youth and Families
Boys & Girls Clubs Twin Cities has a responsibility during this time to increase supports for our families as they now face intensified challenges with school closures, work disruptions, and potential illness and health concerns. The future of our nation rests in the hands of our kids and teens – young people who are watching the news and their social media feeds, overhearing their parents’ conversations, worrying for their world. With racist acts and national civil unrest combining with a global pandemic, our Club members – especially BIPOC youth – need us now more than ever.
BGCTC remains committed to supporting our youth and families and keeping all staff employed during this challenging time. We continue to connect with each one of our families to make sure they have the supports they need while also working in small virtual teams to strengthen and enhance curriculum, lesson plans, and general Club operations. We continue to work very closely with technical partners to ensure appropriate and equitable access to connectivity, both to support our members academics through virtual learning and also provide supplemental relationships and support through virtual delivery of BGCTC programs. We also continue to work with food distributors, grocers and restaurants to provide increased food support.
Despite the fact that we’ve had to close our doors and need to practice social distancing until further notice, all BGCTC staff continues to work closely with our families and one another to develop a new model that ensures best practices and action plans to support our young people, families, and our community. This will also better equip our organization for the anticipated greater need that will present itself once we are able to re-open all Club locations.
Current safety-net services in place include the following:
- Family wellness check-ins. BGCTC staff members continue to connect with each one of our families to make sure they have the supports they need during this difficult time. These calls focus on immediate needs related to shelter, food, technology needs, and medical care (both physical and mental). 10,031 total family wellness check-ins conducted March 18 – June 12.
- Increased connection to and distribution of food. Since April 1, BGCTC has been working diligently with food distributors, grocers, and restaurants to distribute weekly family meal packages from 8 Club locations (10,000+ meals) and connect families to additional nutrition resources they need. Distribution of weekly family meal kits will continue into August.
- On June 1, BGCTC converted our Southside Village Club into a pop-up free food and supplies pantry serving families lacking access to grocery stores and transportation. The Club opens its doors each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11am to 4pm; donations accepted M-F, 11am – 4pm. Volunteers assist each family in selecting essential food staples, personal care, and child care products. Since the opening of the pantry, 100 shoppers have been served each day.
- Delivery of youth development programs as a distance learning model. This includes K-12 academic support, ensuring digital connectivity, and distribution of education materials and supplies to youth and families.
- 673 Kids & Families virtual experiences March 18 – June 12
- 719 Teen Pathways virtual experiences March 18 – June 12
- Program and operations planning for the reopening of two BGCTC Club sites (Mt. Airy & Jerry Gamble) on July 6 under the state COVID-19 response plan, with a small-group, full-day youth programming model.
The greatest challenge will come when we begin to emerge from this crisis. We anticipate an increased demand for free/low-cost out-of-school time programming due to employment disruptions in the high-need communities we serve.
family wellness check-ins conducted March 18 - June 12
total meals served April 1 - June 12
We’re activating to address food insecurities in our communities.
These are incredibly challenging times. The impact of COVID-19 layered with the senseless death of George Floyd has been overwhelming for everyone, and deeply painful for those who face injustices every day. BGCTC has activated to advance food security in our communities as part of a multi-faceted response plan and ongoing commitment to provide resources that support caregivers as well as children.
Family Meal Kits
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities offers free weekly meal packages to Club families to address the increased food insecurities kids and families are facing with work disruptions and school closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This expanded meal program – Family Meal Kits – provides nutritious family-style meals and is part of BGCTC’s multi-faceted response plan and ongoing commitment to provide resources that support caregivers as well as children.
The Family Meal Kits program started on Wednesday, April 1. Seven Club locations across the Twin Cities continue to serve over 10,000 dinner meals to nearly 650 families every week. Boxes of pre-sorted meal components are distributed at Club locations, with each box containing enough food to provide five dinners for a family of four. Households with more than four members will receive additional boxes. Families can sign up to receive a Family Meal Kit by contacting a Club location in their community.
meals served in Clubs per week prior to closures
families served per week since April 1
meals served per week since April 1
Southside Village Pop-Up Free Food and Supplies Pantry
Many retailers were already closed due to COVID, and property damage resulting from unrest in the weeks following the murder of George Floyd has left many Minneapolis residents with reduced access to fresh and healthy food. Stores and retailers closest to 38th and Chicago – the site of George Floyd’s death – were most heavily impacted, and the surrounding neighborhoods have struggled with a lack of nutritious food options in the weeks that have followed.
On June 1, BGCTC converted our Southside Village Club into a pop-up free food and supplies pantry serving families lacking access to grocery stores and transportation. The Club – located at 39th and Chicago – opens its doors each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11am to 4pm; donations accepted M-F, 11am – 4pm. Volunteers assist each family in selecting essential food staples, personal care, and child care products. Since the opening of the pantry, 100 shoppers have been served each day. We plan to keep the pantry open until August 7 –possibly longer depending on community needs – to advance food security for families who have been disproportionately impacted by the confluence of traumatic events.
Food, Supplies, and Technology – Thank you to our Community Partners!
The generous contributions received from these partners are helping our organization address new and growing needs among our communities and expand services to families in this critical time.
- Minnesota Vikings and the Wilf Family
- Kowalski’s Markets
- Cub Foods
- Jerry & Diane Carlson
- Minnesota Timberwolves Head Coach Ryan Saunders and wife Hayley
- MATTERbox Snack Packs
- Pratt Industries & Minnesota Corrugated Box, Inc.
- Papa John’s Pizza
- Grandma’s Bakery
- International Brotherhood of Teamsters
- Teamsters Local 320
- Teamsters Local 471
- Harminder Mashiana
- Fountain of Life Church – Minneapolis
- Reinhart Foodservice
- Asian Foods/Sysco
- US Foods
- McNeely Foundation
- The Minneapolis Foundation
- Otto Bremer Trust
- Teresa & Joel Pfister Family Foundation
- Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation
- Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation
- Union Pacific Foundation
Your support is needed, now more than ever.
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities is committed to supporting ALL kids and families in our Club communities and help them through challenging times like those being experienced now. The public health crisis brought on by this pandemic has laid bare the deadly impact of the disparities that pervade health care in our most vulnerable communities across the country, and the tragic and appalling death of George Floyd was a stark reminders that racism and discrimination remain prevalent in our society.
At BGCTC, we take a stand for the future of our youth. We stand against racism and discrimination. We stand for safety, health, dignity, and equal opportunities. The future of our nation rests in the hands of our kids and teens – young people who are watching the news and their social media feeds, overhearing their parents’ conversations, worrying for their world, and looking to their Clubs with concern in their eyes. With racist acts and national civil unrest combining with a global pandemic, our Club members – especially BIPOC youth – need us now more than ever.
Now, more than ever, our young people need to be heard. They need mentorship from a trusted voice, and they need a platform to share their own concerns. They need to know that adults will stand up for them to ensure the great futures they deserve, and they deserve to be safe – not just at a Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities, but everywhere.
Despite the fact that we’ve had to close Club doors for in-person youth development programming and need to practice social distancing, all BGCTC staff continue to work very closely with our families and one another to develop a new model that will ensure best practices and action plans that support our youth, families, and community, and promote healing. This will also better equip our organization for the greater need that will present itself once we are able to re-open ALL Club locations.
Many nonprofit agencies will face financial disruption because of COVID-19, putting serious pressure on operating budgets. BGCTC is living this uncertainty right now. That is why your support is needed now more than ever. We ask that you consider walking alongside our organization during this challenging time by making a gift to support our continued efforts and the continued needs of our kids and families.