Long Lines in all kinds of weather for people seeking needed food assistance
Dear Volunteers, Donors, and Supporters:
The picture above shows an all too common sight in the US, long lines waiting for food assistance.
Everyone deserves to have the food they need. But every day, one in eight Americans suffers from food insecurity.
Enough food to eat is not a privilege, it is a right, a human right.
Worse, many won’t admit they are in trouble because of
This is called hidden food insecurity— our biggest challenge
Long lines, standing outside in all kinds of weather, signing lots of papers, providing all types of documentation, all contribute to the burden and stigma of asking for needed help.
For us, COVID changed the landscape of how we engage our guests, and it turned out to be an improvement.
Establishing appointment times for food pickups was a solution born out of the need to have “contactless service” because of social distancing requirements.
As time went on, we learned that appointments improved efficiency and appeared to be reducing the hesitation to seek assistance.
This most likely contributed to our direct service growth from 450 families per year when we started appointments, to 3000 families per year now.
Today, we are one of the very few food assistance agencies that maintain appointment times for pickups allowing us to engage the guests, personally, one on one, customizing their food basket, and to treat them with dignity and respect, which can be more important than just food alone.
That doesn’t make us better, just different.
The demands of dignity require that we honor everyone’s right to enough food at all times. Reduce humiliation for those asking for help during a difficult time, and reduce the shame and embarrassment associated with food insecurity. Families who need help are to be supported, validated, and respected during difficult times.
We couldn’t do what we do without the support of our Volunteers and Donors.
Dignity begins with you.