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COVID-19 closures may lead to a need for food and child care

Local groups are prepping to help families as schools close as a precaution in light of COVID-19.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — At least 46 thousand schools have closed, closed and reopened or plan to across the country. 

Community leaders believe while the precaution is important some families will see some struggle. 

Many note a lot of that has to do with food and child care.

"The child care aspect of it is really challenging especially with their jobs," Thrive Ministries Clayton Wood said.

Thrive provides after school programming and food to more than 200 families. But when school is out so are they.

"When you hear someone say well listen all you have to do is sit at home for two weeks and make sure you have plenty of food and child care that's a huge strain," he said. 

A strain that can be tough especially if you can't take off work and get paid to do so.

"A lot of them don't have paid leave they don't have someone saying don't worry you don't have to come in for a couple of weeks,"  Wood said. 

Nut then there's the idea of child care options,  which Wood said may be hard too.

"We're not in a time period for like new enrollment for anything it's just the middle of the semester so even for them if they have an option many of those places are filled," he added.

It is a period of much uncertainty, and Wood said this is where many organizations like his will try to step up.

"Don't forget organizations like us," he said. 

In the meantime he just wants people to think about the effects.

"The disruption for people who have $200 on the bank, and all of the sudden they can't work for a week, is a much bigger deal than a person who's 401K has gone bad because of the stock market," he said. 

He added if you can safely, maybe lend a helping hand.

"Be mindful of those folks and be mindful of ways you can help." Wood said.

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