Provo, Utah, June 2, 2020- “The Boys & Girls Clubs of Utah County has been a lifeline for my family,” said Jeni Jones. Jeni and her husband Jason work for Intermountain Healthcare, Jeni as a communications specialist and Jason as a nurse. When the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown schools and businesses, the Joneses, like so many others, were suddenly thrown into the challenges of working from home while also homeschooling and caring for their two young children. “I found trying to manage work, parenting, and facilitating education to be extremely overwhelming,” said Jeni as she described the days when both she and Jason were working and trying to care for children at the same time.
Through the One Utah Childcare Program, the Joneses qualified for emergency childcare and were matched with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Utah County’s emergency childcare center. “When we were selected for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Utah County, I sobbed and exhaled for the first time in weeks,” said Jeni. “Since then, our lives have improved dramatically…and my stress level has returned to a manageable state.”
Jeni and Jason aren’t unique in this situation, families across the state have been required to balance work and home life, while functioning within the same space. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Utah County opened as an emergency childcare center in April, providing support to essential employees throughout Utah County in need of childcare. “These services have been implemented during this pandemic to support our community and alleviate burdens on struggling families and essential employees” said David Bayles, Executive Director of the Club. “It has been humbling to see government, individuals, and businesses step up to support these efforts.”
In addition to emergency childcare services, the Club has served over 100,000 grab-and-go meals and snacks to thousands of Utah County families. “Grab-and-go meals have experienced a huge increase in demand,” said Kennedy Durfey, Child Nutrition Director. “We are serving over 10,000 meals per week.” Scott Johnson, a member of the Club’s Board of Directors, has seen the difference the Club is making firsthand. “Some of my neighbors who are out of work right now have been picking up meals and I know it has been a blessing to them,” said Scott. To find out more about where and when meals are served each day, visit bgcutah.org/nutrition.
Family by family, child by child, the Boys & Girls Club is committed to making a difference in the lives of those who need us most.