Resources for Athens County Residents who Need Food or Want to Help Neighbors

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) —The spread of the novel coronavirus spurred Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to order colleges, universities, and K-12 schools to close.

An estimated 29 percent of Athens County children live below the poverty level. Several local organizations, churches, and businesses are stepping up to help feed children and families. There are also ways for individuals who wish to help their neighbors to donate money or resources.

If you are coordinating any efforts that are not listed here, please email WOUB at

School districts – deliveries and food banks

Athens City Schools parents should check their email for a survey. The school district is working on a plan to begin meal deliveries to students who need it.

Also, the Athens City School District Food Pantry is the third Wednesday of every month, from 4-5:30p.m. at Chauncey Preschool/ACS Early Learning Center (21 Birge Drive, Chauncey, 45719). You must bring an ID and the pantry is first come, first serve.

Nelsonville-York City Schools will begin breakfast and lunch deliveries on Tuesday, March 17 via normal bus routes. Anyone who wishes to opt out of delivery, or who does not receive a delivery but needs one, should email

Southern Local Schools is distributing breakfast and lunch to all district students beginning Tuesday, March 17 through elementary bus routes. Families who do not have a normal bus route may pick up food from 11a.m.-1p.m. on Tuesday at the Miller High School Office entrance. The district says it plans to deliver food and assignments for students on Mondays, beginning March 23.

Trimble Local Schools will begin breakfast and lunch delivery on Wednesday, March 18 through AM bus routes.

Businesses and organizations offering food

Avalanche Pizza donated lunches to students several times over the past week. Check their Facebook page for more information.

Arby’s on East State Street is offering a free kids’ meal for parents who bring their children to the restaurant, from 11a.m.-1p.m. and 5p.m.-7p.m. the week of March 15.

The Ohio University Inn is supplying free peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for students in grades K-12. This will happen from 11a.m.-1p.m., Monday through Friday, until schools reopen.

Wings Over Athens is offering a free kids’ meal, one per child per day. The offer is valid in-store only (33 North Court Street, Athens). A representative of the company said the free meal is available every day during regular business hours.

The Southeast Ohio Food Bank will have two mobile food distributions in Athens County. The first is Thursday, March 19 at the Athens County Fairgrounds, from 10a.m.-3p.m. The second is Friday, March 20 at Trimble High School from 10a.m.-3p.m. Families must be income eligible, at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, and residents of Athens County. The food bank requires photo I.D. and proof of residency. Attendees will not need to leave their cars.

The Southeast Ohio Food Bank also has a list of food pantries in ten counties and recommends you call your local pantry before arriving. Click here to find a local food pantry.

United Appeal for Athens County has information about home-delivered meals, hot meals, food pantries at local churches, and more. Visit 

Cat’s Cupboard in Baker University Center is open for Ohio University students, staff, and faculty. Hours are 7:30a.m.-7p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10a.m.-7p.m. Sunday. Students can swipe in with their OU ID card.

Ways to donate – online

COVID-19 Athens County Response Fund, hosted by Rural Action: click here. This is an emergency response fund to be used by local organizations who are working to help people most impacted by the novel coronavirus.

Ohio University Support Fund, through the Division of Student Affairs: click here. This fund supports OU students who may be impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ways to donate  – in person

Cat’s Cupboard in Baker University Center is accepting donations for OU students, faculty, and staff. Drop off donations at the Dean of Students’ Office (Baker 345) or in the donation box on the 2nd floor of Baker Center.

United Appeal for Athens County has information about food pantries around the county that may be accepting donations. Visit