Mary Beth Fisher
On March 14, the world, our worlds, changed overnight into a chaotic place of worry, as well as a place of opportunity. Suddenly our Canadian neighbors returned home as well as many winter residents returning early to their other homes. An idea, an opportunity, was born.
The Santa Cruz Valley Food Bank is an emergency resource for the local community. In normal times, folks can visit once a month for emergency food, but times have changed. In March, the increase was 45%, and families had to return as the stores didn’t have what they needed to sustain their families. The first week of April has been exhausting due to the increase.
Our idea was to let our neighbors know of the need, and make it easy for them to participate. RRAZ has always supported this food bank, but in the current environment, the need is greater and we need bigger participation. So many young people lost their jobs, and the elderly were limited in access to shopping, while families had children at home who had received food at school, which is not happening now.
So, we placed a notice on our social network, Nextdoor, and placed the collection boxes on front patios, maintaining the physical separation. People were generous; we estimate we donated $700 in food, and $300 in monetary donations in eight days.
The HOA posted on their website, as many residents are not using Nextdoor, and this effort increased our contributions. We will continue this effort as long as is needed, and we hope by the time you read this article we have a new normal that gives people the basic resources they require to exist with independence. Questions? Contact George or Mary Beth Fisher, collection coordinators.