September 2021: The Latest from PORCH
- Rebecca Felicelli, a 21-year-old student at UNC Kenan-Flagler, started Bags for Boredom with a friend when the pandemic began. They provide K-8 students with board games and engaging activities during times of social distancing – the goal being to promote cognitive development and to stimulate learning away from school. In 2020, they gave away 350 bags and raised more than $3,000! Rebecca handed out her bags to families during our August food distribution – the do-it-yourself soil kits with seeds were a real hit!
- We want to recognize Bryter, Amy, and Lincoln Thomson for delivering food to families who were unable to come to our drive through site. Way to go!
- Our thanks to Kidzu Children’s Museum for offering us these activity sheets to include in our food distributions. Kids are encouraged to “play with their food” by making edible character puppets – and they are instructed to write their own book! Did you know that Kidzu provides free, virtual play groups? “The Nest” consist of guided learning activities, integration of early literacy and STEM activities, and a focus on caregiver and child health/wellness. For more information, click here.
- In August, the fabulous team from Martha Newport Realty Group sorted food at Extraordinary Ventures as Neighborhood Coordinators pulled up to drop off all of the nonperishables they had collected. This close-knit group of colleagues is no stranger to this type of volunteer work – they come in and sort with us once a quarter and are proud sponsors of our Food for Schools program, which provides healthy snack foods to the 19 Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, as well as the district-wide pre-K program, and three after-school programs. “PORCH is such an incredible organization that connects our community to help families in need. … We are so proud to be part of the PORCH family,” said Martha Newport. Interested in becoming a food for Schools sponsor? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!
- In recent weeks, PORCH was able to stock the bare shelves of Triangle Church of Christ‘s new food pantry! We offered them three cart loads full of nonperishables. Pictured here is Carol McDougle, picking up the groceries.
- Getting a free Covid vaccine is simple and convenient thanks to Orange County Health‘s walk-in clinics. No ID or insurance required! At August’s Food for Families distribution, we handed out these flyers with all of the info. If you can’t come to the clinic, the mobile vaccination clinic will come to you! Learn more here.
- As you may know, our Food for Thought program raises awareness about food insecurity, brings attention to the intersectionality of food insecurity and poverty, and strives to engage the community in grassroots, as well as systemic, solutions. This month’s call to action is related to menstrual equity. Did you know that 37 states tax menstrual products? North Carolina is among them! Rep. Julie Von Haefen and Sen. Natasha Marcus are working to change that, and Dems are on board. They would like to make these products tax exempt as part of the NC budget. Menstrual products are not covered by SNAP/food stamps and are very expensive, creating quite a burden for many members of our community. We can help build a coalition by rallying voters to urge their legislators in Raleigh to support this important change. We can easily supply you with a list of perhaps 25-50 individuals to contact by text (or phone call) with a brief message on this topic. Reach out to Gerrie Richards at email@example.com to request a voter contact list. A final note: We always appreciate advocacy ideas from our PORCH community members. Send us your thoughts – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Our Board held an all-day retreat this month at the Lake Hogan Farms clubhouse, focusing on education and training around our culture, development, and governance. They also explored and evaluated different strategic directions for PORCH to pursue. We want to recognize our two esteemed facilitators from Executive Service Corps – Art Zucker and Sue Adams – and ESC’s tech support person, Jamie Andelman. And thank you to Robin Lin for capturing this image.
- Felicia Swinney, Jessica Coons, and Jennifer Bachman of the Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties helped us sort food this month – thank you for your efforts!
- Look at what Donna’s 11-year-old son Isaac donated to PORCH as his Yom Kippur project! We are so grateful!
- Check this out! Chapel Hill Mayor (and PORCH volunteer) Pam Hemminger with Karen Thornton, Neighborhood Coordinator for Silver Creek. Karen says her incredible neighbors are generous contributors every month, and the neighborhood has made PORCH their official community outreach project. This month was particularly successful because food donations were collected at a block party! Thank you, Silver Creek!
- Our quarterly newsletter was just released! Read it here. Find out how PORCH is growing across the country, learn about a special partnership that has resulted in 7,200 gallons of milk for families over the past decade, and more!
- In September, we distributed food to 478 families (2,100 individuals!) in our fresh Food for Families program. Families received 40 pounds of fresh produce, eggs, milk, chickens, bags of nonperishable food or fresh produce from Transplanting Traditions, and $50 grocery gift cards. A huge thank you to our partners and volunteers who make this work possible! And thank you, Tom Simon, for the pics!