East End Community Services partners with Miami Valley Meals to provide COVID-19, Thanksgiving meals

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – East End Community Services has partnered with a new food preparation organization in the Miami Valley to deliver meals to those who need assistance as a result of COVID-19.

Miami Valley Meals was formed by a Dayton-area chef who found himself out of work at the start of the pandemic. Striving to keep himself and his colleagues employed and with a goal of serving the community, Director of Culinary Operations for Miami Valley Meals, Matt DeAngulo and a group of friends began working to feed those impacted by the virus.

“We moved from House of Bread to Saint Vincent de Paul, and within about a week of that, East End Community Services had reached out to us and asked if we could start helping their resources in the community.”

The organization operates by gathering unused food from The Foodbank in Dayton and cooking balanced meals for those in need.

“We take it over to Lindy’s and process it into meals. We create a protein, a starch, a vegetable, a desert and a roll,” DeAngulo explained. “We package them, we freeze them, and then we bring them back here at our other headquarters and then distribute them to a pantry.”

One of the pantries that has committed to distributing the meals to community members is East End Community Services.

“We know that people are struggling to stretch their food dollars,” said Executive Director Jan Lepore-Jentleson. There’s so much unemployment right now and families don’t have the incomes the incomes they used to.”

Last month alone, DeAngulo said Miami Valley Meals brought in about 19,000 pounds of food from The Foodbank and has distributed around 16,000 meals to community members through various local nonprofits. Those meals include nutritious staples like chicken, rice, green beans, pumpkin bread and rolls. For Thanksgiving, he said the organization plans to go even further.

“[Meals will be] for a family of four at UD Arena. We’ll have about 500 to 750 of those meals. We’ll also have about 500 to 700 individual meals at that location, and then we’re going to mirror that again at Trotwood and Madison.”

Leading up to holidays and in the months following, Lepore-Jentlson said East End will continue distributing meals like these four days a week.

“We’re not being bureaucratic about this. We want people who are really hungry, who could use an extra meal every week or so for their family to just call us. It’s about really getting good quality food, thanks to The Foodbank, to the families who probably are already depending on food bank food.”

Meals provided to community members are funded through the Miami Valley Community Action Partnership and through the Montgomery County CARES Act.

Monetary donations can be made to Miami Valley Meals by clicking here.

The schedule and locations for the Thanksgiving meal giveaways can be found here.


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