The Blessings Project: A New Program Distributing Food Kits to Help Latinx Children & their Families
Updated: Sep 20, 2020
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our communities, several of our Food Rescue program partners have needed to close their centers to ensure the safety of staff and clients. This has brought challenges to our traditional model of food delivery – and opened new, creative channels to reach our neighbors in need.
Our special new initiative, the Blessings Project, is designed to provide “food kits” to recently immigrated families who are particularly vulnerable at this time. The idea is to help those who do not have sufficient resources or an adequate system of support.
The first food kits were recently delivered to families living in a housing complex in Central Contra Costa County. The families were identified by WPE’s partner, Monument Impact. Monument Impact has worked to stay connected to and serve their clients even with their physical location temporarily shuttered. According to their staff, the delivery was met with heartfelt thanks and a sentiment shared by all of the families that the selection of food and ingredients was better than what they had expected. If it is successful at this location, the program may expand, providing that WPE can obtain the necessary support from the community.
According to Eve Birge, Executive Director at White Pony Express, “The Blessings Project is important to White Pony Express. We consider those we serve as part of our family. The project is called a Blessing because it’s a blessing to be a part of it! We will deliver food and spices that are familiar to and loved by the recipients, and will take them through more than just a few days. We want to reach these families and give them food that carries the familiarity of home during a time when many are hungry and feeling isolated.”
White Pony Express volunteers enthusiastically assemble food kits for the launch of the Blessings Project.
Pete Olsen, WPE’s School Pantry and Food Sourcing Manager, who is running the food kits program says, “We want to provide a balance of ingredients and food staples that are familiar and nutritious. The food kits include fresh produce, rice, Masa flour, corn husks, beans, tomato sauces, a wide assortment of spices, peppers, Mexican chocolate and other items.”
Eve continues, “Although WPE picks up surplus food items from supermarkets and food distributors every day, we do not get everything needed for these food kits. For the Blessings Project, we would love – and need – the community’s participation to help the program grow.”
The Blessings Project costs WPE $2,000 per delivery, and we are currently making deliveries twice a month. WPE is looking for people who will sponsor the program or host drives for food items needed to complete the food kits. If this is something you or someone you know might be interested in, please contact Eve Birge, Executive Director at (202) 251-4174, firstname.lastname@example.org for sponsorships, and Pete Olsen, WPE’s School Pantry and Food Sourcing Manager at (925) 322-0604 x129, email@example.com for food drives.
Bags packed and ready for delivery! Each household receives two full totes and a large box containing fresh produce.