Back in March we asked you, our intrepid supporters, to join us in “helping the helpers” – and we were overwhelmed by your response! Not only did we raise over $87,000 to go directly to those fighting on the front lines of this pandemic. You also answered the call when it came to nominating organizations around the world that were dedicated to helping others through this pandemic. In total, over 2000 organizations were nominated! We are so encouraged by your enthusiasm for the helpers in your communities!
From that list, we narrowed down to around 60 organizations that we are able to provide with COVID-19 Support funds. Over the next few blogs, we are going to share with you a bit about each of them; how they are helping their communities; and why the work they are doing is so important.
During the first phases of the pandemic, one of the primary issues that arose for many surrounded food. Folks who are fortunate to be able to shop regularly at their grocery stores were faced with extreme shortages. With the easy and the most accessible foods being the first to go at grocery stores, this left food insecure families with bigger challenges when trying to feed themselves or their families. That is where food banks like Anne Arundel County (Maryland), San Francisco Marin (California), and Northwest Arkansas came in. Even faced with shortages and a new need to be socially distant, these organizations rose to the occasion. Food banks like Sow Reap Grow in Mississippi placed a special emphasis on providing fresh produce to their communities.
Similarly, food banks outside of the United States worked hard to ensure everyone had access to food. We want to say “Danke!” to Münchner Tafel, a food bank helping their community in Munich, Germany. Loaves and Fishes, a food bank serving East Kilbride, Scotland, nearly faced closure at the beginning of the pandemic due to the harsh circumstances. With the support of Random Acts and other organizations, they continue to thrive and help their community. And in Quebec, Canada, The Depot was able to deliver food baskets as safely as possible to those in need.
When it comes to food, restaurants and restaurant workers have faced unprecedented hard times. In an effort to keep this part of the world economy sustained, several organizations reached out to this community to lend their support. The Lee Initiative launched many different programs to target restaurant worker relief. In an effort to help both the industry and the food insecure, World Central Kitchen started #ChefsForAmerica, which to date has provided 25 million meals to families in more than 400 cities.
In the midst of the pandemic, the world relied heavily on our first responders. With these COVID-19 Support funds, we were able to help feed those helpers. Laney & Lu in New Hampshire has provided over 3500 healthy meals to caregivers and their community. In consideration of the hard hit industry, Cooked-19 (Texas) and Meal Forward (California) provided meals to first responders from local restaurants. With nourishing meals, these helpers could be at their best to help us!