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Furloughed Culinary Workers Join Forces To Provide Meals During Pandemic

Miami Valley Meals is local, chef-driven initiative to serve bulk nutritious meals to those in need in the community through a central distribution system to local pantries.
Miami Valley Meals
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Miami Valley Meals is local, chef-driven initiative to serve bulk nutritious meals to those in need in the community through a central distribution system to local pantries.

Since the coronavirus pandemic started, a Miami Valley collaborative has teamed up to deliver more than 40,000 meals to organizations serving people in need. Six months after they began, the need continues to grow.

“The numbers are growing all the time, unfortunately, but we're trying to make the best of a bad situation and help our neighbors where we can," says Amanda Delotelle, the executive director of Miami Valley Meals. She says the collaboration started when a group of furloughed chefs and culinary workers, led by Chef Matthew Deangulo, decided they could put their skills to use helping people during the pandemic.

Delotelle says their group works together to prepare nutritious meals in bulk. They provide those meals to local aid organizations, which then distribute the meals to the communities they already serve.

“If you are an individual looking for assistance and you're not able to connect with a church or a community center, you can dial 2-1-1 and they will give you information about individual assistance.”

Their nonprofit has grown to include groups like The Foodbank, East End Community Services, Public Health, and others. And now, Miami Valley Meals has partnered with Daybreak where they'll have dedicated kitchen space. You can find more details and a full list of partners on their website.

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Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.