100 Women Who Care Guelph
When the 100 Women Who Care Guelph team entrusted Food4Kids Guelph with its quarterly donations in January 2020, our volunteer-run charity was over the moon. While the funding was extremely valuable for our small charity, your support and encouragement was, too.
Receiving the extra money from 100 Women meant that we could immediately enroll more children in our weekend food bag program and reduce our waiting list. In fact, our 180 enrolled children soon grew to 200 by March and we were on track for even more growth. Then Covid-19 struck.
With schools closed, we were unable to deliver our weekend food bags and we immediately switched to mailing grocery gift cards to the children’s caregivers, in the amount of $15 per child per week.
Sadly, the Covid closures also forced us to cancel our signature fundraising event of the year, our “Closing The Weekend Gap Breakfast” that was already well planned and scheduled for April 28. Ouch.
We were also “stuck” with a lot of pre-purchased, shelf-stable food on our shelves which we donated to Guelph’s wonderful Chalmers charity to supplement their free food bags. We also lent some of our equipment like freezers and delivery trolleys to other agencies providing food deliveries during Covid. The response of Guelph agencies for food-security has been remarkable.
It soon became clear that Covid was making family struggles even more dire, so Food4Kids Guelph made a difficult decision. That was to “blow our budget” by dipping into funds already raised for the next school year so that we could provide grocery gift cards to our families throughout the 2020 summer months as well. We realized that this decision would deplete our carefully planned budget by some $40,000 and that it could mean starting the 2020-21 school year supporting fewer children. However, we felt it was the right thing to support families when they needed it most.
And then our little team of volunteers got to work, as hard as we could. We applied to every possible grant program and reached out to our donors.
With great relief we are happy to report that since April we have raised $40,000 and then some. Our program is back on track financially and now aims to support up to 300 children in the next school year. Our hearts are happy, and we are sleeping much better!
Thank you so much for supporting Food4Kids Guelph. As I am a regular member of our 100 Women Who Care Guelph team, I will gladly share updates at future meetings.