Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit East Boston in mid-March, the Salesian Boys & Girls Club on Byron Street switched gears and redirected their focus from youth programming to making sure Eastie families had enough food and resources during the pandemic.
The Boys & Girls Club became a food distribution site for Eastie residents once school was cancelled and began collecting donations in order to provide residents with basic essentials that became hard to find during the height of the pandemic.
Eventually the Boys & Girls Club reopened with limited capacity for the summer and are looking for ways to safely provide after school care in the fall for local families.
Last week Grubhub, the popular online food delivery app, provided the Boys & Girls Club with a financial gift that Salesian Executive Director Michael Triant said will help the club continue to provide COVID-19 relief services in Eastie.
“We are extremely grateful for our friends at Grubhub for their generous gift to our COVID-19 Relief fund,” said Triant. “In times of tragedy and crisis, Boys & Girls Clubs have stepped up to provide safe places for kids and teens. Today, the organization is committed more than ever, to ensure Club staff, members, families, and communities have the resources and support they need to navigate these uncertain times – while also partnering with state and local officials to do more.”
Triant said the Club will use Grubhub’s generous gift to defray the cost of installing safety enhancements to the facility and for supplies and equipment for its summer camp program.
“We will also use a portion of the funding towards operational expenses and to purchase needed supplies and equipment for afterschool and virtual programs and activities in the fall,” said Triant.
Salesian Boys & Girls Club relies on public and private support to continue its mission, especially in times of crisis.
“The Club would not be able to continue its mission without the support of companies like Grubhub,” said Triant. “Salesian Boys & Girls Club is committed to providing vital relief services immediately. The East Boston community will need Clubs more than ever as the nation begins to emerge from this time. The donation will also enable Club doors to re-open so that they can continue to provide out-of-school time services to current members and the local community. With unemployment on the rise and the long-term economic impact of COVID-19 unknown, it’s crucial that we equip our young people with the essential skills to successfully enter the workforce. Also, when our Clubs re-open, there is a concern that mental health resources will be needed to help youth as they transition out of this difficult time.”