Edmonds Schools Foundation works to ensure children are fed during COVID-19 crisis

The Nourishing Network’s pop-up pantry teams include Alderwood Middle School (left), Beverly Elementary (center), and Cedar Valley Elementary (right). “We are so grateful for our pop-up pantry teams,” said Edmonds Schools Foundation Executive Director Deborah Brandi. (Photos courtesy Foundation for Edmonds School District)

In the face of COVID-19, the Foundation for Edmonds School District says the efforts to feed school district children through its Nourishing Network have not stopped or slowed down —they have increased. “Program changes and expansions have not been easy, but our staff and volunteers have been incredibly creative and adaptive,” Foundation Executive Director Deborah Brandi said in a recent letter to foundation supporters.

While upholding social distancing best practices, Brandi said, the foundation is working alongside the school district to implement the following:
Pop-Up Pantries: These are still open and operating. “In response to COVID-19, we are using a drive-thru model, where our wonderful volunteers load pantry boxes into waiting cars for families in need,” Brandi said.
Grab-and-Go Meals:  The foundation is offering meals five days per week at four community sites: Community Life Center, Meadowdale Community Church, Spruce Park, and YWCA. Families can also receive dinners
(a second meal) at three sites on Fridays, compliments of FeedMe Hospitality and Restaurant Group, Chick-Fil-A, and Bantaba restaurants.

 

Shubert Ho and staff at Salt & Iron: Oysters and Steak in Edmonds prepared 185 meals to donate to families at Grab-and-Go distribution sites.
The Edmonds Food Bank (pictured above) prepared pantry bags, complete with chocolate Easter bunnies, for Nourishing Network to deliver to families in need.
Weekend Meals Kits: Carry-away weekend meal kits are being distributed at alongside the grab-and-go meals. Each kit contains enough food for two breakfasts, two lunches, and two dinners. They also include two milks, two juices, a variety of snacks, and a comprehensive list of community resources, such as food bank locations.
Delivery Services: In an effort to better support immune-compromised and homebound families, we have increased our delivery services for weekend meal kits and pantry boxes.
Sally Ralston, King’s Schools, and SPIRIT 105.3. hosted a huge drive-up food drive benefitting Nourishing Network March 3.

Also helping with the foundation’s effort was King’s School in nearby Shoreline, which partnered with radio station SPIRIT 105.3 to conduct a food drive March 3.”We went to remote learning in the middle of March,” explained King’s Marketing & Admissions Director Sally Ralston. “And as families were at home with their students and feeling isolated from each other I received many emails from parents that wanted to do something to help those in need!” Ralston said she had worked in the past with the Nourishing Network, “and I really like the support they give to children on free/reduced lunch by providing a weekend backpack for them. So I thought this would be a perfect fit.”

Ralston said she was amazed by the steady stream of parents and high school students who came from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  in the King’s school parking lot, dropping off food and cash donations. “In the end we had not one but two vans full of food,” she said. “The King’s community cares for others in need.”

“This is truly a community effort,” Brandi said of all the good works to help district children in need. “We are grateful to be working alongside our dedicated volunteers, food banks, restaurants, and district. A special thank you to Edmonds Food Bank, Lynnwood Food Bank, and Neighborhood Food Bank for your partnership in supporting our pop-up pantries and home delivery services —we could not do this without you!”

“On behalf of the hundreds of children and families served by The Foundation for Edmonds School District, thank you for your continued support in ensuring that every student in our district has the resources to learn, thrive, and contribute to our vibrant community,” Brandi added.

 

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