During this time I have been fortunate enough to be employed by a company that was able to go remote and not lay off any employees. Others in our community have not been as fortunate. With increased unemployment, food pantries have seen a dramatic increase in new families using their services and a decrease in donations. I decided to get involved and organize a food drive for the St. Petersburg Free Clinic with the support of my employer, Powerchord, and my local community.
Since our company has been working remotely since early March, I can’t put up flyers around the office and have a donation bin that everyone walks by. So, I decided to put a donation drop off in front of my house. That way coworkers can drive up and drop off easily. Another employee called it “Drive Food to the Food Drive” - I thought that was clever! I also posted information about the food drive on the Nextdoor app so my local neighbors could drop off donations as well. My coworkers have also been mailing me donations. I have received many donations so far and I’m hoping to receive a lot more through August 21st.
After a recommendation from a coworker, I decided to do the food drive with the St. Petersburg Free Clinic. They have a food bank that distributes food free to over 65 food pantries, shelters, community kitchens, and more. They also collect and distribute hygiene items which I was glad to hear. In my community, a neighbor recently reached out asking for help. He was struggling with finding work and providing diapers for his son. Many people in the community helped and I donated diapers. This reminded me of how important not only food but hygiene items are.
If you would like and are able to support families in need, I recommend looking up a local food pantry or food bank for donation drop off times. Some organizations also accept monetary contributions. During a time of high unemployment, supporting our neighbors will be what helps get us out of this hard time together.