IFM's ANNUAL MARCH MATCHING CAMPAIGN MEETS GOAL AMID COVID-19
Interfaith Food Ministry is happy to share that we have met our goal of $100,000 for the annual IFM March Matching fundraiser! A huge thank you to all those who contributed. As a result, IFM will be able to feed 5000 people over the next several month. This is particularly important given the current pandemic we are all experiencing. IFM has seen a 20% increase in the number of people seeking food assistance, and a two-fold increase in the number of new clients. Your continued support is very much appreciated by our 450+ volunteers and over 8,000 clients.
As the Matching campaign began, we saw a positive response of support during the first week of March. However, Covid-19 shut-downs of jobs and schools began in the second week of March and many of IFM volunteer's were unable to continue volunteering during this time, due to the age and health restrictions advised by the state. Being fully supportive of the safety of our senior volunteers, IFM set out to find more volunteers who could help.
Our volunteers are the backbone of IFM. Not only do they provide the physical work at IFM, for feeding the hungry in Nevada County, many of them are also donors and the very people who make IFM’s spirit of giving and helping so unique from any other non-profit in Nevada County. Many of our long time volunteers continued to come in to cover extra shifts and combined with the infusion of new volunteers from the community, IFM is proud to be able to report that there was NOT a single interruption in IFM's scheduled Food Distribution Programs during this crisis!
Every day is different with a new set of challenges. IFM has shifted to drive-thru distribution from the onset of Covid-19 since 4 weeks ago, to ensure the safety of volunteers, clients, and the community. From seamstresses who make masks for volunteers, to the help of delivery drivers from local agencies who are delivering groceries for our homebound immunocompromised neighbors in need, IFM is adapting to the constantly changing demands of this epidemic with the help of many. For this, we are eternally grateful.
The level of support and generosity that has been demonstrated in the last few weeks from volunteers, donors, and do-gooders has been palpable. This is what the IFM spirit is all about and why IFM continues its work of feeding the hungry during this time of uncertainty and many challenges. By working together, we will get through this together. We ask for God's blessing as we continue day by day. We're already blessed to have you be part of this mission in any way, great or small. Thank you for standing with us.
As we close out our March Matching campaign we are reminded of the all the silent leaders in our community, who give so much to improve the lives of their neighbors, often times anonymously. We're reminded when we fall short on our volunteers, that there are indeed countless more giving individuals who are happy to contribute their time for the simple act of helping those in need and making sure the important work of feeding families doesn't fall by the wayside.
IFM is dedicated to being a center of relief during any and all crisis and challenges, as with the Paradise fire, the power outages, extreme weather, and now with Covid-19. But we're not out of the woods just yet, and we've yet to see what the aftermath of the virus shut-downs will hold on our local economy. Many residents may not have a job to go back to and schools continue to be closed down. Thousands of local children in need normally received two of their daily meals in schools. With events being affected, IFM doesn't know yet that we can continue holding event fundraisers. We ask for your support during this time through donations and volunteer efforts, as we continue to navigate the unknown. Let's keep the momentum going.
Thinking of making a donation? Special considerations are being being taken to give tax payers who take the "Standard Deduction" as a one time "Special Deduction" of up to $300 for donations made to a defined set of charities. IFM qualifies as one of them.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
'Janet' is a pregnant stay-at-home mom with children, 3 and 5 years old. Things were already tough before Covid-19. But now her husband's hours have been cut and food is running out. The bills are not getting paid. [Name has been changed].
"We were holding garage sales to make some extra money, but now nobody can leave their house, so that's no longer an option. The only good thing about this virus is that PG&E can't shut us off, because that was about to happen too," said Janet.
"A friend told us about IFM and we were able to go there on a Monday. Without delay or any questions, they gave us a bunch of food to last us a couple of weeks! We were able to buy diapers, pay our car insurance and phone bills. Now at least my kids can still talk to their grandma on the phone, meanwhile we wait for this to be over. IFM is a lifesaver."
Annual IFM Volunteer Luncheon in June at Twin Cities Church June 9th 12PM - 2PM. Details to come. Stay tuned for updates on whether this will still be held on the same date.
IFM Benefit Concert on Saturday, September 12th, 2020 at Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building. Stay tuned for details. Stay tuned for updates on whether this will still be held on the same date.
IFM’s 3rd Annual Hunger Run at Alta Sierra Country Club is Saturday, September 26th 7AM - 11AM. Stay tuned for updates on whether this will still be held on the same date.
Paulette’s Spaghetti Dinner of Friday, October 16th 5PM - 8PM. Stay tuned for updates on whether this will still be held on the same date.
COVID-19 UPDATES AT IFM
As an agency that serves the public, it is Interfaith Food Ministry's utmost responsibility to ensure a safe and hygienic environment for volunteers, clients, and employees as we move forward with our mission to continue distributing food to those in need of Nevada County. When the news of Covid-19 came to our communities, IFM was quick to implement various measures of safety:
We have shifted to an outdoor drive-thru distribution process, where clients stay in their cars and food is loaded into cars with social distancing measures and zero contact.
Volunteers, staff, and clients who are sick or experiencing chronic health conditions have been asked to stay home.
All volunteers and staff wear masks. Thanks to the help of the community and talented volunteers, we now have a full stock of masks for everyone who works at IFM.
Hand sanitizers have been installed at all the IFM volunteer packing stations.
Detailed maintenance of IFM's facility was already in place before covid-19. Sanitation of all areas is applied before and after operation hours.
Gloves have always been provided by IFM and worn by our volunteers and we continue to do so.
A portable and fully stocked hand washing station has been installed at the volunteer entrance of IFM.
Food Distribution Schedule and Process:
We continue to stay open to distribute food on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 10AM-1PM.
For those who are unable to come in during the week for distribution, there is Food Access Saturday In partnership with United Way. This happens every second Saturday of the month, with the next one on May 9th, from 10AM-12PM.
During Covid-19, IFM is allowing clients who are immunocompromised, to send a pick-up person to get their groceries for them. Send your designated person, with a note signed by you, on your pick up day when they come in for your groceries.
If you are brand new to IFM then please send photo id and proof of address with pick up person.
For clients who don't have a person they can send for their groceries, they can call 211 for assistance or the delivery service NC Left at: (530) 362 - 8219.
Wash your hands for 20 seconds with hot water and soap.
Use hand sanitizer when you know you’ve touched anything in public spaces, like doors, surfaces, phones, atm machines, gas pumps, shopping carts, pens, etc.
Avoid touching your face.
Cough or sneeze in the elbow.
Keep 6ft distance to others until we know it's safe to do otherwise.
We need paper grocery bags at this time. In order to ensure bags are not contaminated before usage, IFM volunteers are placing them in quarantine for 48 hours. Please drop them off at 440 Henderson St. GV. 95945
VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT WITH THE LUCKINBILLS
IFM's April volunteer spotlight lands on Debbie and Jim Luckinbill. The Luckinbill's dedication to IFM during the Covid-19 crisis has been nothing short of heroic. The couple has been at our distribution front lines since the virus broke out on just about every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Debbie works the check-in line while Jim directs on-coming traffic at the entry line.
Debbie has been a long time member of the Grass Valley Ladies Relief Society, a group that has been active with IFM for many years; the Luckinbills have been active volunteers of IFM for several years. As Mr. Roger's well known quote reminds us to 'Look for the Helpers', we needn't look further than this fine example of brave and fearless citizens to see just that. We thank and salute you Mr. and Mrs. Luckinbill. Interfaith Food Ministry is deeply touched by your service to our community. May you be blessed always for your good deeds.
GOLD COUNTRY MEALS ON WHEELS PARTNERSHIP IN FULL SWING
IFM's new partnership with Gold Country Services Meals on Wheels Program is now underway and it couldn't have come at a better time. Since Covid-19 began, the program is now allowing even more homebound seniors into the program to make sure no senior is left behind during the pandemic. Seniors are challenged more than anyone in the community due to the coronavirus impacting this age group the most. As a result many seniors are at a loss of how to get food.
We would like to take a moment to give a big thanks to the Lake Wildwood Women's club for heading IFM's Birthday Bag program. This group of women donates birthday bags to our organization every single month, to ensure that our less fortunate clients can still find a way to celebrate the birthdays of their children. The bags are filled with cake making and birthday party supplies and often times little gifts that would bring joy to any child.
These are the little things that build memories that last a lifetime. IFM doesn't receive many donations of this nature, so to have a regular program that supplies these items to our clients is indeed filling a need that we would not have filled otherwise. Thank you so much, LWW Women for your thoughtful and much appreciated contribution to our community.
Are you inspired to do the same? Brighten up a child's birthday by filling a birthday gift bag with cake and party supplies for a boy or girl and drop it off at IFM at 440 Henderson St. GV 95945.
RIVERHILL FARM AND IFM PARTNER UP FOR MORE FRESH VEGGIES
IFM partners for the third year with Riverhill Farm by matching Riverhill's contribution. Donors are being asked to make donation checks out to IFM but send them to Riverhill Farm so that they can tally up donation totals and then drop checks off to us at IFM. Label your check with Riverhill, so they may be processed accordingly. From RIverhill's newsletter:
'Donations to Interfaith Food Ministry:
We are proud to announce that we will be continuing our relationship with Interfaith Food Ministry in 2020. Last year, with your help, we sent a total of over $8000 worth of produce to Interfaith, to be given to those in need of food. This year, Interfaith has committed to match up to $4000 of your donations, and we will aim to once again donate at least $2000 worth of produce. This means a potential for $10,000 in produce donated to Interfaith clients this year! If you would like to participate, mail us a check, in any amount made out to Interfaith Food Ministry. Your support will help us keep making sure there is good food for all the members of our community.'
BRIARPATCH AND EARL'S ORGANICS GENEROUS DONATION TO IFM
A big thanks to BriarPatch Food Co-op and Earl's Organic Produce for their generous donation of 2501 lbs. of produce to Interfaith Food Ministry. Goodies like asparagus, oranges, apples, sweet potatoes, Swiss Chard, kale, cilantro, parsley, Romaine lettuce, spring mix lettuce, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, tomato and mandarins were included in the shipment.
Our board president Bob Thurman was on site to meet with BriarPatch manager Chris Maher. With limited supplies in grocery stores, this couldn't come at a better time. IFM is seeing an increase in new clients with the loss of work and income during Covid-19. So we are very grateful to be able to supply healthy food with the help of the good folks at BriarPatch and Earls!
COMMUNITY COMES TOGETHER TO MAKE MASKS FOR IFM VOLUNTEERS
Like many who are working at the front lines of all essential services across the country, masks were at a shortage. The nature of IFM's work puts volunteers at clients at close range, so we knew that something had to be done to protect the community.
Long time IFM volunteer, Rita Kahil and Pinetree Quilt Guild connected in order to make masks for our volunteers. The result were simply beautiful and every single volunteer was able to get a reusable mask made by some of the best seamstresses in our County.
To date we continue to receive an outpouring of masks from various members in our community who heard about our need for masks and we simply want to say, Thank you so much for keeping our community safe and protected. It has been amazing to see the care that everyone has put into these handmade masks.
Are you inspired to make masks for IFM volunteers? Please contact email@example.com to coordinate mask donations.
GARDEN GALS START UP THE IFM GARDEN FOR 2020
The Lake Wildwood Garden Gals have been dedicated to growing fresh produce for our clients for 7 years. Jackie Pascoe our resident Garden Gal at IFM shared details, "We have started our own zucchini, cucumber and pumpkins. Weiss Brother’s Nursery is donating the tomato plants again this year. Emil Weiss has donated them for the past 5 years. Our host and hostess are Larry and Donna Ellert of Lake Wildwood, providing the land and the water. Donations from Nancy Appling and others have made it possible to continue this growing season. We have 9 Garden Gals and have been growing for IFM since 2013."
It is worth noting that last year the garden yielded over 5000 lbs. of food for IFM. In fact, everything grown in the Garden Gals garden is donated to IFM. We wish the Garden Gals a bountiful season and on behalf of our clients, thanks so much for the many years of work you've put into helping feed our community.