As we have reported, Family Promise partnered with World Central Kitchen from May through October 2020 to distribute nearly 46,000 meals and 9,000 boxes of produce to families and individuals in Englewood. Well, we are at it again. Because the need for food continues and because of our extensive experience delivering healthy meals to the community, Family Promise and the Community Chest of Englewood have teamed up in the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Winter Dinner Program. The program provides access to free, nutritious meals, this time in the form of meal vouchers. Every week, a total of 360 vouchers are made available to six Englewood non-profit organizations to distribute to their clients who have been affected by COVID and are food insecure. To this point, the program has provided 4,180 vouchers over a 13-week period.
Bergen Family Center, Women’s Rights Information Center, Center for Food Action, Metro Community Church, West Side Infant and Teen Parent Program and Tibbs House all receive certificates that they distribute, one per family member. Each voucher entitles the bearer to one meal at one of four local restaurants. Priority was given to minority and women owned businesses with the idea that the increased demand for meals would help keep local restaurants open and their staff employed. Restaurants provide a choice of three pre-determined meals which are ordered in advance. The restaurants are paid $10 per meal.
Family Promise is responsible for managing all aspects of restaurant participation including questions and any issues that may arise. We are also responsible for allocating the vouchers to the non-profits and assigning the restaurants to them for that week. The Community Chest has raised $65,000 for the program which is expected to run at least through the end of April.
The beauty of this program is not only that families are fed and restaurants stay in business, but that eight non-profits have joined forces to feed a community. We need more partnerships like this that garner the expertise of each organization to meet a need in the true spirit of cooperation.