Welcome to summer, friends and family of the ROCK! Here we are, already in June, and life is still upside down for many. What an interesting journey 2020 has taken us on.
So, what will they talk about today, you wonder? We’ve definitely taken you on a few tangents, and tried to be an active part of your online presence, but now we’re going to get back to basics.
Alright, let’s see what ROCK’s been doing.
Tuesdays and Saturdays – we are bringing out 270 meals (yes, 270) and handing out them all. We’ve ceased our soup donations, and only because it’s hot. No one wants hot soup on hot days. We’re debating other solutions, as we all still want them to have the amount of food. The nutrition part of our program is SO important. So, imagine, 270 people in our community, here in Chatham, are food insecure. That essentially means that there are that many people in our very own city that don’t know where their next meal is coming from. How many of you can imagine that? An empty cupboard, using that last bit of bread and peanut butter, not sure what you will eat next. That shouldn’t happen in 2020. Anywhere. Some of these people we serve are families, with kids. Single moms with small children. None of them should ever go hungry.
Fridays – we have partnered up with Street Health (out of Windsor) and the Chatham Mental Health Association – and we do some more outreach. We do some harm reduction. We do some mental health. We check on our friends, and hook them up with some other amazing people. We are so grateful for both of those organizations, coming out with us and trusting us to provide an avenue to help some of our friends.
Mondays and Fridays – we have such an amazing team of volunteers who still come faithfully to create 270 lunches. And now we’re providing emergency food baskets. Twice a week they’re filling our lunch bags, and making sandwiches. It takes a few hours, and we wouldn’t be able to complete this task without that team. People like that, like you, who support what we do, are also helping to make a difference for our friends.
Emergency food baskets – let’s talk about that. This is the important one right now. We are so grateful to our community, and to the May 16th Miracle team, that we were included in the distribution of the 700000 pounds of food collected in Chatham-Kent. What a Miracle we all pulled off!! And the timing of it could not have been any better. In some conversations we’ve had with social services, United Way, etc, it’s estimated that the level of food insecurity will increase greatly within the coming months. With the COVID situation, and the government CERB program coming to it’s first 16 week ending period, many people will be left with no income as the province is taking the slow and cautious road to reopening. Even just recently, with the launch of our food basket program, we’ve seen an increase from 1-2 per week to up to 10. And that number will only go up.
Please, friends and family, we will need your generousity to continue. As will outreach for hunger, and freehelpck, and the Sandwich Guys, and many others. Anyone you can support, please do. Let’s back up our miracle with showing that it doesn’t end after May 16th.
Imagine what 270 people looks like. How many people that is. Would it fill your church? Would it fill your office building? Or your back yard? That’s a lot of people. And those are the ones we know about – there are surely more. Working and meeting a ton of amazing people through our outreach and May 16th has taught me that there are many of trying to keep the humanity alive in what we do. Join us. Support us. Don’t let anyone go without, regardless of their situation. If the worlds unrest teaches us anything right now, we’re on the precipice of deciding how we want our future to be – Chatham-Kent is no different.