“We had a family with three children coming in for the sack lunches we provide every afternoon. The father had lost his job during COVID, so they were all living in his pick-up truck with a camper shell. They came in for the meal, but we connected them with some resources. We helped them find housing and work.” That was the moment when Sheila Planer realized her work with Center City Christian Outreach was making a difference.
The Health Science Academy has a unique way of educating its students. Every year, Springfield Public Schools partners with Mercy Hospital to educate 8th grade students in health and medical sciences and introduces them to career opportunities. “These kids are very ‘help-oriented’,” says Ryan O’Dell, the Health Science Academy teacher, “They’ve been bugging me all week to come to The Food Bank today.”