For those of us that are not familiar with Filling In The Blanks, please share your organization’s mission with us:
The kids in our program rely on school breakfast and lunch programs. With school closures, access is limited as parents/children must travel to a school grab and go site to receive their daily breakfast and lunch. There is a greater need for our bags with the demand continuing to rise as unemployment rates increase, or parents have to quit their jobs to stay home with young children.
Tell us how Covid-19 and school closures are impacting children right now, what are the needs that are surfacing during this difficult time:
The school closures are greatly affecting the children we serve.
So many community members want to help out, what are the best ways to contribute and get involved:
The best way to help out now is to donate to Filling in the Blanks so that we can continue to purchase food to distribute. When things go back to normal, we will need volunteers to help pack. Sharing information about FITB on social media platforms is extremely helpful too! It will increase awareness amongst groups outside of our immediate circle and allow others to learn about our COVID-19 crisis response efforts. Please feel free to share our virtual food drive link with your network of friends, family, co-workers, etc. Every donation makes a difference!
For people that want to be hands-on volunteers, are there some safe jobs that adhere to social distancing, such as packing or making deliveries?
We do not have any hands-on volunteer opportunities at the moment. We do encourage people to make 10-second videos on why they volunteer at FITB and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or participate in our Cans 4 Kids Challenge on TikTok and post on Instagram and tag us. When it is safe to have volunteer opportunities, we will post it in our newsletter; if you have not signed up, you can do so at www.fillingintheblanks.org.
Can you share some of your personal experiences when you interact with families and students that are significantly impacted by the uncertainty?
“Thank you for everything you do to help people. I am out of a job. I have my children. My family is in Guatemala and receiving the bag with food is a blessing. I appreciate everything you do for us”. – Parent from our program
School principals and parent coordinators have relayed stories about how important the bags are to the families. Many parents have expressed this is all the food they will have over the weekend.
For online donations, can you give us an example of what each dollar amount will go to?
$5.25 is our cost for 1 weekend meal bag. That bag has 2 breakfasts, 2 entrees, a canned vegetable or rice and beans, 4 snacks, and 2 cartons of milk.
Visit www.www.fillingintheblanks.org to contribute to the virtual food drive.