On March 16, 2020 when schools and businesses closed, the HOPE Farm staff met and planned—we did not know if we were planning for 3 weeks or 3 months. We did know, though, that when crisis happens, lower-income families are hit the hardest and our families would need our love, support, and help.
Throughout the next 11 weeks, when several of our moms lost their jobs and normal, household supplies became scarce, HOPE Farm sought out families with phone calls, visits, FaceTime, Zoom calls, and anything else that could be used to communicate. In the end, because of an unprecedented outreach from our supporters and donors, we were able to provide all families with technological, nutritional, and household items that made them feel less isolated and less afraid. We have been blessed to partner with our donors and supporters during this time.
We engaged our boys through scheduled programming Zoom calls, FastForWord Literacy contests, do-it-yourself projects, and recap videos of their activities. During these last 11 weeks, we fed 549 families, delivered 1,754 individual meals, 89 boxes of fresh produce, 92 snack/candy bags (reading prizes!), 39 toiletry bags, 19 educational packs, 229 DIY projects, and 46 Mother’s Day Baskets. In addition, we provided toilet paper, water, laundry detergent, hand soap, disinfectant, hand sanitizer, meat, and bleach. And finally, we checked out iPads, Chromebooks, laptops, printers, Galaxy tablets, and other technology that helped our kids get through the last 3 months of school and stay connected to HOPE Farm.
We do not know what comes next, but we are prepared to respond in any way that is necessary. After a small break, we plan to have a virtual summer camp in July that will include several in-person field trips so that we can see our boys.
We have missed them!