Medard’s House, local restaurants team up to serve families hot meals during pandemic


NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. (WHTM) – Nonprofit centers where kids gather, learn and eat nutritious foods are having to change how they operate during the statewide shutdown. That includes Medard’s House, which serves children in the west shore community.

Medard’s House is a two day a week drop-in center, where anywhere from 25 to 40 kids go for a family-style hot meal. Since they can’t all congregate there together now, volunteers are delivering food to families.

Last week, Al’s of Hampden called and offered to donate 50 pizzas, which staff from both places delivered to people’s homes.

The kind gesture is actually what initiated the idea to bring meals to kids, instead of having them come to the property to pick them up.

Since then, Al’s of Hampden has donated even more food, and so has the restaurant Flinchy’s.

Medard’s House is delivering to families it was serving initially, plus others in need.

Saundra Fortney-Colello, founder and director of operations at Medard’s House, says while school districts are offering bagged lunches, a hot meal is important too.

Volunteers are now cooking those on-site and trying to offer meals as many days a week as they could.

“We just went and loaded up on take out containers, soup bowls, bags and we are cooking the meals in house again like we always do and delivering them,” said Fortney-Colello.

Volunteers say they’re wearing gloves and protective masks while they’re out and about.

They have already been met with happy tears by appreciative parents.

“She’s a single mom,” said Fortney-Colello. “She’s a nurse. She has three boys that eat like crazy, and we dropped her off pizza and she was like, tears…she couldn’t believe it because she’s been working like 90 hours a week.”

The Cook family in Mechanicsburg prepared and packaged 125 servings of soup. Another family in New Cumberland did the same thing with chili.

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