If you have any extra non-perishables, please pass by the Old Bridge YMCA today (3/27)  and drop them off! The YMCA is also holding upcoming blood drives, and here's the info on that and more about what the YMCA is doing.

(Photo from Andrea Plaza)

The YMCA of Greater Monmouth County was forced to close its doors to members in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak but continues its outreach and support for our community in other ways. After announcing a blood drive for the American Red Cross to help increase supply during a severe shortage, more than 150 donors filled all open appointments for blood drives March 26 and 27 in Freehold, Old Bridge and Red Bank!

Grateful for the immediate community response, the YMCA is now asking you to assist with critical food insecurity needs.

Another “Drop & Go” curbside food drive to benefit Fulfill and Lunch Break will take place from 12- 5 p.m. today, March 27th, at the Old Bridge Family YMCA on Mannino Drive. Toiletry items will be accepted as well.

The YMCA of Greater Monmouth County will hold additional blood and food drives at their Freehold and Red Bank locations as well, in order to meet the needs of the American Red Cross and the needs of local food banks during this health emergency. The YMCA’s Freehold Borough Community Center is also now a site for distributing crisis food boxes on behalf of Fulfill.

The American Red Cross was forced to cancel nearly 200 blood drives in our state, resulting in 6,500 fewer donations as of March 23.

Donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give or receive blood.  Red Cross employees follow thorough safety protocols, and in response to COVID-19, additional precautions are being made.

All donors will be temperature-screened before being permitted into the blood drive and will be asked to use hand sanitizer before and during the donation process. Additionally, donor beds will be sanitized and spaced to follow social distancing protocols. Red Cross staff will also check their own temperature and change gloves in between donors.

The Red Cross only collects blood from individuals who are healthy and feeling well at the time of donation, and who meet other eligibility requirements, including weighing a minimum of 110 pounds at being at least 16 years old.

Individuals who’ve been in contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 or is suspected to have it are asked to postpone their donation, as well as anyone who has recently traveled to China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, Italy and South Korea.

Blood drives will take place in the YMCA’s gymnasiums, which have been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.

For information on the Y’s future blood and food drives CLICK HERE!