COVINGTON — As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to ripple through communities, many families have been forced to rely on local food drives to keep their pantries full -- but Northern Kentucky organizations figured families could use some fun to keep their spirits high too.
Over the past six weeks, the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission has handed out 1,600 boxes of food to families in need, thanks to help from the Team Kentucky Fund.
"When it all first started it was crazy," said Mia Potter, a mother at the event. "It was just scary, really, because we didn't know what to expect, what was going to happen, how life was going to be."
The single mother was hit hard by the pandemic. Home schooling three kids wasn't easy on her own, and the experience was stressful.
That's why the food drive brought in DJ Nitro for Wednesday's food drive, to help ease families stress and provide a bit of levity while families picked up food at the Covington Head Start Center.
"May is community action month, so all month long in the pandemic, we've been doing food drives and we wanted to do it a little bit different, and people have been so cooped up and we wanted to just make it fun," said Catrena Bowman, executive director of the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission.
CAC is a part of Team Kentucky -- a fund created by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear to help families in the Commonwealth during COVID-19.
For families enjoying the music and weather as they waited for their food, the event helped to remind them of the community of which they're a part, even if they couldn't be near one another.
"Even if we can't be that close together, it's just important to just interact with people to know that you're not alone and other people are out," said Amanda Mills, a mother at the event.
So far, Bowman said the Kentucky Fund has raised $3 million to give out throughout the state. CAC has used that funding to help support their food drives, which provide boxes of milk, eggs, bread, meat, vegetables and diapers for families throughout Northern Kentucky.
"Community Action has stepped up to make sure we're all taken care of," said Potter.
CAC also has funds to help with mortgages, utilities and other essentials families may need help with.