Every year, we come together to #StopSummerHunger. This is not a normal year. Because of COVID-19, summer hunger started early.
When school is out we know that families struggle to keep food on the table. Children and teens who are part of free and reduced-cost breakfast and lunch programs often no longer receive those meals. There are increased expenses for childcare when school is out, and the cost of utilities rise along with temperatures. Budgets for so many families are already stretched thin, and the stress of covering these additional costs is very real.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis means more people than ever are facing hunger each day. Parents and caregivers have lost their jobs and healthcare. Schools have been closed, and in many cases unable to continue providing meals to children, since mid-March. Summer hunger started early this year.
Together we can help ease the burden on families and ensure growing children get the nourishment they need to grow, play, and learn. Our #StopSummerHunger goal this year is to raise 4.4 million meals.
What the Food Bank is doing:
In the Food Bank’s 34-county service area, just over 300,000 (1 in 5) children are eligible for free or reduced cost breakfast and lunch- and in some cases, those meals haven’t been available since mid-March. With our many partners, the Food Bank is working provide as many of those meals as possible to children and teens for as long as needed, and have opened more than 30 free meal sites since April.
In addition, we are distributing thousands of family-sized boxes, each containing 20 meals, to our partners operating pantries and soup kitchens, to school districts for children and families, and to seniors.
How you can help the Food Bank meet the increased need:
- Donate funds – Because of the strength of community relationships, the Food Bank can stretch the gift of a single dollar to provide 5 meals worth of food for a neighbor. And during the months of June and July, your donation is DOUBLED – meaning every dollar can provide 10 meals for the community.
- Involve your friends – Want to mobilize your neighborhood, church group, or family? Holding a Virtual Food Drive is a great way to help – while practicing social distancing. Visit foodbankcenc.org/vfd to get started!
- Donate time – If you are a healthy adult and want to volunteer, you can self-schedule a shift at foodbankcenc.org/volunteer. Current volunteer sessions are being kept much smaller than traditional volunteer groups to best accommodate social distancing. We are also limiting volunteering to ages 18-60 at this time, to best protect vulnerable populations.
- Donate food – We’re always in need of the types of shelf-stable items that you pick up for your own family: things like peanut butter, canned tuna fish and chicken, soup, pasta, and canned fruits and veggies.
Thank you to our #StopSummerHunger Sponsors!
¡Una Dosis Diaria de Gracias! Agosto es Mes de Agradecimiento a Nuestras Agencias Colaboradas.
August is Partner Appreciation Month
The Food Bank’s Partner Services and Public Policy Department has designated August as Partner Appreciation Month. It is an opportunity for the Food Bank to recognize all the amazing work done by our partner agency network to nourish, build and empower their local communities. We have always considered our partners to be dedicated hunger-relief advocates, but during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic they have shown us truly what it means to be hunger heroes: dedicated, compassionate, and enduring.
To show how much we appreciate our partners, we have planned virtual activities for the month of August. These activities range from sharing Thank You Messages to offering small tokens of our appreciation. We know that just saying thank you will never be enough to encompass all of what our partners mean to the Food Bank, but we agree that it is where we should start.
Activity 1: Daily Dose of Thank You
“Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness…” (A. Collette) We realize the power of starting off the week on a positive note. Every Monday in August, the Partner Appreciation Committee will send a Thank You Message to partners via email from a Food Bank Staff or Board Member. Feel free to share these messages of encouragement with your agency staff and/or volunteers.
Activity 2: Daily Dose of Thank You
Tell Me Something Good Edition
Did you know that the Food Bank distributed its 1 billionth pound this year? Every Friday in August, the Partner Appreciation Committee will send partners a Tell Me Something Good (TMSG) Email that announces a milestone that the Food Bank and its network has reached this year. In addition, in TMSG we will include a Thank You Message from a Food Bank Staff Member and an announcement of the winners of our Partner Agency Raffle. Stay tuned for TMSG’s exciting announcements.
Activity 3: Partner Appreciation Raffle
Every Friday during the month of August, the Partner Appreciation Committee will announce 28 winners of our raffle. The winners will be announced in our TMSG Email. To win partners must be in good standing. To see a full listing of requirements to win, please refer to the Partner Appreciation Month Introduction Email. All partners that fit the eligibility requirements are automatically enrolled in the raffle. “May the odds be ever in your favor.”
Did you know that the Food Bank is commemorating its 40th anniversary this year? In honor of recognizing 40 years of nourishing, building and empowering communities the Partner Services Department would like to recognize our partners and their decade milestones. Each agency will receive a personal Thank You message from their Outreach Coordinator that includes a copy of their decade milestone certificate.
Activity 5: State of the Food Bank: A Virtual Conversation Between Food Bank Leadership and Partner Agencies
Date: September 1, 2020
Virtual Meeting Location: WebEx
Join Peter Werbicki, President & CEO of the Food Bank and Earline Middleton, Vice President of Partner Services & Public Policy for a conversation reflecting on the Food Bank’s 40 years of service, the organization’s Strategic Plan highlighting our response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, advocacy efforts and more. Before and during this conversation there will be opportunities for partners to submit questions.
This event is open to all partner agencies of the Food Bank on a first come, first served basis. The conversation will take place via WebEx with an option to call in for the meeting. The State of the Food Bank will be recorded and distributed later for partners to view who could not attend the live session. Due to limited spaces, please limit your agency representatives to two people if they are joining the meeting using separate devices.
How to Participate:
- All Food Bank partners are invited to participate. We are asking that partners RSVP for the event. To register, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In your RSVP email, please include agency name, agency number and email address.
- If you would like to submit a question for the leadership, please send your question to Jessica at email@example.com by 4pm Thursday, August 27th. Please include agency name, agency number, email, and contact person’s name with all questions.
Partner Services and Public Policy Department Quote
This year marks the 40th anniversary of serving communities with food for daily nourishment, supplies during disasters, and now hope during a pandemic. This August we honor our collective partner agency network. Thank you for providing food assistance, benefit support, programs, and educational opportunities for communities throughout our 34-county service area. You have been here with us, never wavering in your commitment to serving others. Rain, snow, sleet, shine, hurricane, or pandemic, your doors have remained open, creating an environment of hope. We continue to work every day to ensure no one goes hungry. We could not do what we do without YOU!
Este año se celebra el 40° aniversario de servir a las comunidades proporcionando alimentos para la alimentación diaria, suministros durante los desastres y ahora con esperanza durante una pandemia. Este Agosto estamos honrando a nuestra red de agencias colaboradas. Gracias por proporcionar asistencia alimenticia, apoyo a beneficios, programas y oportunidades educativas para las comunidades en cada uno de los 34 condados a los cuales servimos. Ustedes siempre han estado aquí con nosotros sin poner en duda el compromiso de servir a los demás. Con lluvia, nieve, huracán o pandemia sus puertas han permanecido abiertas creando un ambiente de esperanza. Seguiremos trabajando todos los días para asegurarnos de que nadie pase hambre. ¡No podríamos hacer lo que hacemos sin USTEDES!
Partner Appreciation Committee Quote
A movement starts with individual will power and sustains itself with collective willpower. Together we are an unstoppable force for change; 900 hunger relief agencies and growing.