Volunteers connect with local families at drive-thru giveaway during COVID-19 "stay-at-home" health order.

Athens Sheriff’s Office Hands Out Snacks to Local Children

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) —  “Apple, oranges or bananas?” asks a deputy to a family in a car outside Walmart.

People driving up to do groceries Monday morning got a little unexpected help. The Athens County Sheriff’s distributed some 500 snack bags for school kids complying with the “stay-at-home” order due to COVID-19.

Outside Walmart, a dozen deputies stood under a tent waiting for parents to drive through and reach out for the bags. During this emergency, the sheriff’s office wanted to help the community, says Sergeant Jimmy Childs.

“People pull up, we ask them how many children they have,” so that’s the number of bags they get. Each brown bag contains cookies, apple sauce, spaghetti-o or ravioli, as well as some water, apples, bananas, and granola bars.

The bags were packed last Friday by staff volunteers. Money for the snacks came from a budget the D.A.R.E program usually utilizes at this time of year for their activities at all schools districts. Sergeant Childs is the D.A.R.E. officer for Athens and who came up with the idea.

“Typically, this time of year when schools are winding down to the end of the year, I average about 400 D.A.R.E. students throughout all the county schools. So, typically my budget is utilized to do end of the year activities with the kids.”

But this time, due to the coronavirus lockdown, that money was repurposed.

“Since schools are out, obviously, I asked the sheriff if he thought I could  put together snack bags, our office contribute in utilize some of the D.A.R.. funds to buy the supplies with. He thought it was a great idea, we worked with the commissioner’s office and here we are.”

The deputies handed out most of the bags outside Walmart. The remaining bags were to be distributed in other parts of the county.

“It’s not a lot but it’s a little bit, hopefully a little bit helps, you know. This is us trying to do our part.”