Strangers, organizations offer groceries, meals for those in quarantine

(Credit: Pataskala Community Outreach)

PATASKALA, Ohio - Charles Dickens once said 'No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another'.

That's what Deb Coffel, Jerika Zuckerman and her children were doing, Thursday.

"Any family that needs it," Coffel said. "Not just school children. Any family."

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Coffel is with Pataskala Community Outreach. It's a 4-year-old non-profit that connects the people with the need. This week, the need is distributing food for those who are staying home because of the coronavirus.

With donations, community support and accepting meals from Southwest Licking Schools, Pataskala Community Outreach has given away about 3,000 meals for free in the last four days.

A community wanting to lighten those burdens.

"I feel like it's so important for us to do our part and be able to be there for our community," Jensen Johnson said.

Johnson is from Pataskala. A freshman at the University of Cincinnati, she found her semester cut short last week. She returned home eager to help.

"It's important to do what's right and I'm thinking of my neighbors and my teachers and my grandparents and I just want to be able to help them out in any way I can," she said.

She posted on Facebook offering help for the elderly and those who are staying home because of medical issues by buying them groceries or medications.

Thursday, she picked up milk, orange juice and cereal for her grandmother who lives in Columbus.

"I just know that I need to do my part and I feel like everybody should be doing their part to be there for our community," Johnson said.

Dickens was right. No one is useless who lightens the burdens of another. It's an idea that brings us together even at a time of keeping social distance.