United Way of Greater Fall River is on a mission to feed the community.

The economic impact that the novel coronavirus has had in the Greater Fall River area has left many families and individuals unable to buy enough food. Some are not capable of accessing the soup kitchens, food pantries, and drop-in lunches that local organizations have coordinated to help their neighbors. Some do not have a full kitchen to prepare meals for their families and themselves. These families have been identified by School Resource Officers, Adjustment Counselors, and the Family Resource Center as needing more support. That is where United Way steps in.

UWGFR has partnered with United Neighbors and local restaurants to provide at-risk families with four to five days of fresh, ready-to-eat meals that are safely delivered to them by volunteers. The Fall River Boys & Girls Club hosts the organization space for volunteers to assemble the packages of food before drop-offs.

This program has been operating for the last three weeks and Thursday, May 7 marks the third drop-off day. In its first week, Feed Fall River supported 100 families. Last week, Feed Fall River supported 109 families and 22 single adults with the assistance of 20 volunteers and two Fall River restaurants. Meg Rogers is the Communications Coordinator at United Way of Greater Fall River and she hopes to expand that support with the help of generous donors within the community. “We have 300 families identified and vetted on our list. We would love to continue growing the program with enough funding in support of each one.”

Here’s how the math breaks down:

  1. $60 supports meal delivery for one family for one week.
  2. $6,000 supports 100 families with meals for one week.
  3. $18,000 supports 100 families with meals until May 18, when Governor Baker’s current stay-at-home advisory ends.

Kim Smith, Executive Director of United Way of Greater Fall River added, “So far, the outpouring of support by community partners has been great, and has allowed us to expand from 101 to 150 families in the 3rd week. Partnering restaurants and volunteers have also been amazing, energetic, and efficient. From day one, we have been a well-oiled operation with assembly to delivery in just under 2 hours. Folks have also brought their own children along to volunteer which brings some semblance of order and hope amid the chaos. Students feel a sense of purpose and community spirit. It’s inspiring and we’ll keep doing it until the funds run out.”

If you would like to help “Feed Fall River,” please email UnitedWeHelpGFR@uwgfr.org. If you would like to volunteer for Feed Fall River with another member of your household who is able to drive, please send an email to liveunited@uwgfr.org.

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