In response to the world event that is greatly interrupting our lives, we wanted to assure you that together we will get through these challenging times. As individuals, teams, parks and recreation departments, school districts, non-profit organizations, and more, we are nothing if not resilient, flexible, and fiercely committed to our missions, to our communities, but mostly to each other.
Viruses are contagious, but so are hope, compassion, and the ability to lift each other up when the time calls.
Cunningham Recreation’s Social Impact Division, Play 4 ALL, founded to assist projects to identify and mobilize philanthropic support is now teaming up with local food programs. We have provided monetary support, located food sources, and strengthened efforts to coordinate food distribution to families in the safest manner possible. We understand that many people are not focusing on building playgrounds during this time and that the critical need for families and Seniors to have access to nutritious foods is paramount. We are here to help in any way we can.
The demand for food assistance has never been as great as it is during this global crisis. In the face of staggering and record-level unemployment, more and more families are facing food insecurity. School closures are affecting students who counted on nutritious meals during school hours and now are at risk of going to bed hungry. Local food pantries are understocked, understaffed, and becoming overwhelmed with a new wave of families needing their support. Cars are lined up, sometimes spending the night, waiting for hours to receive food and personal hygiene items.
This is a familiar scene across America. School Districts, places of worship, and local community development programs are working with national food programs and local donors to replenish dwindling food supplies. “It is never-ending,” says a local food service volunteer. “People who have never needed help before are finding themselves short of resources like food.”
Another vulnerable population is our Senior Citizens who are at greatest risk for contracting COVID-19. Being asked to stay home for their own safety but many do not have someone to bring them their food or medications. National and local organizations are stepping up to keep them safe and nourished.
Charitable organizations, companies with strong Corporate Social Responsibility programs, and grassroots initiatives led by people on the front lines are the cornerstones to alleviate the swift blow that CORVID-19 is having on American families and communities both large and small. It is during these turbulent times that shed the greatest light on the human spirit and how we pull together, answer the call and lift one another up. As Mr. Rogers’ mother told him when he was a young child during a tragedy, “look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
“Victoria Babb with Cunningham Recreation’s Play 4 ALL has been a great resource in helping the Francis Howell School District and the St. Charles County Community provide food for our families in need during the COVID-19 closure,” said FHSD Communications Manager Jennifer Henry. “She has been essential in finding community partners to support the district’s efforts, as well as bringing awareness within the community for financial donations.”
If you know someone who is in the situation of needing food and personal hygiene products, please have them contact www.feedingamerica.com where they can locate a food pantry near them. National program Meals on Wheels – www.mealsonwheels.org also can direct seniors to a local program so they do not have to leave their homes.
Contact [email protected] with any questions. We are here to help. Thank you for doing your part to create and inspire a culture of health and well-being in your community.