Over the last 11 weeks, it’s been incredible to watch our community rally around kids and families during the COVID-19 crisis. CSL had a goal to show neighbors that our community safety net is strong enough to withstand this crisis. We’ve truly been a metro-wide relief organization, strengthened by our network of 10 feeding sites, and amplified by generous gifts of time, talent, and treasure from donors.
As we transition from disaster response to long-term recovery, providing basic needs remains paramount as many families will continue to struggle. Kids have been out of school for 11 weeks, and, as we know, many families rely on the support of public schools to provide filling and nutritious breakfasts, lunches, and snacks.
This summer more than ever, we need to help keep kids and families strong and move towards recovery. To that end, we will continue drive-thru feeding programs at all 10 CSL feeding sites until significant restrictions are lifted.
For Summer 2020, we are delivering food under the “Strong Kids and Families: CSL’s Summer Feeding Initiative” tagline. At the Noland Road office, we will be consolidating our drive-thru food services to an every-other-Saturday blitz. Two of our church partners, Church of the Four Corners and Revive Church have committed to staffing our Noland Road food distributions. Those will happen June 6 and 20, July 11 and 25, and August 8 and 22. The churches will also bring in volunteers the Friday before to pack boxes in preparation for the Saturday blitz.
Weekday pantry services will continue at our nine other feeding locations. We will continue to waive paperwork and geography requirements this summer in an effort to serve as many families as quickly and safely as possible.
Church of the Four Corners and Revive Church are examples of organizations stepping up, in partnership with CSL and others, to address critical needs in our community. You may have seen messages from us over the past few months as the community pulled together to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. We tagged these #strongertogether because it expressed the feeling of collaboration that we saw and know is so important to make our community stronger.
As we turn our attention to recovery efforts, we're aware of the challenging times ahead. CSL is committed to "build a world that works and works for all." We continue to develop and deliver solutions to fill gaps that neighbors in poverty have to overcome everyday. From meeting basic needs and housing instability, to employment and training opportunities, and coaching to build financial stability. If anything, the COVID-19 crisis, and the need for racial justice, have shown that our mission has never been more critical.
The leadership of organizations like Church of the Four Corners and Revive Church shows the importance of stepping forward to use our resources for good. Over the past few weeks, CSL has been working with other leaders in the community on a concept that will activate the power of organizations to make change. It's built on cross-sector collaboration between civic organizations, government, social services partners, faith groups, government and others - all coming together to help heal and recover. And ultimately, over time, to build a world that works and works for all.
If you know of an organization that might be interested in joining the Stronger Together initiative, please let us know. You'll find more information on this site. Fill out the form on the site and we'll reach out to discuss ways to get involved. There is much to be figured out and done in the weeks, months and years ahead. Saying "yes" to be part of the solution is the first step.
As the Stronger Together belief statement says, "We believe that now more than ever, we need to come together to get through tough times today, and build a brighter future for tomorrow." We hope you'll join us, because we truly are #strongertogether.