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Cleveland nonprofit giving out food boxes and COVID-19 vaccine to Northeast Ohioans in need

The May Dugan center is working to fight hunger, and the pandemic, in an innovative way.

CLEVELAND — More than 100 cars lined up today in Cleveland, ready to receive a big bag of food from the May Dugan Center.

Beverly Huber, among the first in line, says the food and necessities are worth the wait. 

“I would be in a really bad, really bad position because I’m on a fixed income. This food really, really helps out. No one understands, but it does,” says Huber.

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Executive Director for the May Dugan Center, Rick Kemm, says the pandemic has forced them to adapt and change their ways of helping out those in need. 

“In 2019, we provided 135,000 meals. And now we’re approaching 600,000 meals," Kemm told 3News' Romney Smith. "The need is still there, a lot of people are unemployed." 

There is also a need to vaccinate people where it’s convenient. With the help of Neighborhood Family Practice in Cleveland, the May Dugan Center planned a one-stop-shop to give out food and vaccines to Ohioans looking for the assist. 

Ohioans like Eric Fernandez and his mother, who drove through the line and told Smith that the motivation is family. 

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“My mom, I’m around my kids all the time, I don’t really want to, you know, get them sick at all,” said Fernandez.

Fernandez says the single-dose Johnson and Johnson shot was convenient, and even got a cheer from the medical staff on scene!

“It's great cause I ain’t got to come back in 30 days,” says Fernandez.

In addition to serving those most in need with food & PPE, leaders say it just made the most sense to bring the vaccine directly to people who need it.

The May Dugan Center is also working on its Capital Campaign Project to raise enough money for major renovations and expansion that will allow it to provide 15,000 more meals a year. The project will also help to provide more mental health services, clothing distributions and other critical needs in the Northeast Ohio area. 

To learn more about the May Dugan Center, click here

Editor's note: The video in the player above is from a story published on May 20, 2021.