Springfield nonprofit serves 2.3 million meals in 100 days during pandemic

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Life360 Community Services had to change its traditional routine. Schools shut down, and the nonprofit couldn’t work hand-in-hand anymore with its 30 school district partners across southern Missouri. Life360 retooled and brought its afterschool snack program to the front of its distribution centers.

At the start of COVID-19, the nonprofit was serving an average of 15,000 kids per day. Now, it feeds 23,000.

“It’s been quite a journey,” Executive Vice President Jeremy Hahn said. “We’re all a little tired, but excited to serve.”

As of yesterday, July 10, Life360 Community Services has served 2.3 million meals in 100 days.

“Honestly none of us expected to hit that this summer, especially in the last 100 days,” Hahn said. “But, here we are. It feels good that our team has mobilized themselves and made themselves available to get this food out.”

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, this milestone wasn’t easy to achieve. Life360 used to have to feed kids at their distribution centers in large groups, but that couldn’t happen anymore because of CDC guidelines. Changing up their routine took some negotiating with their partners at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“We petitioned with the USDA, and got an exception to that rule through this time so that we can feed kids right out the front door,” Hahn said.

Families are fed through a touchless service in front of the nonprofit’s various distribution centers Monday through Friday. Volunteers wear gloves, masks and put a week’s worth of healthy food in your car.

“[Volunteers] have been a huge help,” Hahn said. “I know we’ve had several companies come over weekly and volunteer with us, and many others. We’ve had several groups of nurses come by and volunteer too in their downtime.

He says he couldn’t be more appreciative of volunteers, along with Life360’s many partners.

“Partners have made this thing possible,” Hahn said. “Convoy of Hope and Crosslines especially here in Springfield have just been incredible partners with us.”

It was a challenging, but successful ride to 2.3 million meals. Hahn wants to clarify something though: He’s not done.

“So long as this pandemic goes on, we’ll continue doing what we do,” Hahn said. “Wouldn’t it be amazing if we hit five or six million meals? Maybe 10 million meals across southern Missouri if we were able to. We don’t get wrapped up in the numbers too much. We just get excited to keep serving each and every family.”

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