One of our biggest successes this year was the Food from Friends campaign. In March, we explained to our supporters that due to the students staying home from school (where they normally receive two meals a day), and the lack of options for income for their families, we needed to raise the money to be able to feed every single family (and some alumni) in our program. You stepped up in an incredible way, and we are so thrilled to say that we accomplished our goal. We hoped to raise $80,000 to feed 350 families from April through December. With your help, we were able to raise $88,000 and feed 373 children and their families – a total of about 5,000 food packets.
So many of you donated to this cause. From $20 to our $10,000 match, some of you even chose to donate on a recurring basis each month. Thank you, thank you, thank you! If you are a sponsor and you have read your student’s COVID assessment report on the sponsor portal, many of the families answer the “anything else we should know?” question by thanking the case managers for the food support. For most of them, it is the only way they have been able to survive the pandemic and the resulting lack of income.
We are so happy that the students are able to return to school in January, and that those schools will once again be able to provide them with the two meals a day that they need to thrive and learn. We have built a robust ‘emergency food fund’ into our 2021 budget so that we can continue to support families who need it. But, the families are reporting that they are back to work, and with students going back to school, we can turn our attention to how we will pay for an extra school term for every student in 2021 and 2022.