As we approached the Thanksgiving holiday, the team at +BOX focused on how we might address the additional stress that food-insecure families may be facing at that time. With the long break, many students may not have access to additional resources they have during school. Additionally, holidays may create an additional economic burden on food insecure families, who already have to decide between spending money on food or other essential needs, like healthcare or housing, throughout the year. With all of these thoughts in mind, the rising cost of food is exacerbating the problem, adding to the stress that will get in the way of a happy, healthy holiday. In response, our team decided to provide extra financial support this holiday season to help food insecure families access the essential resources they need for a happy, healthy holiday.
During the summer of 2020, we had the great fortune to partner with Grocery Gifts, a COVID-19 relief project in collaboration with the Carlsbad Educational Foundation. +BOXes were a part of a weekly distribution of essential foods for food insecure Carlsbad families. Grocery Gifts provided the connection and resources for milk, eggs, cheese, and other products for families while +BOX supplemented the food pickups with fresh, nutrient-rich produce. Since those pickup events, our connection has stayed strong, and many Grocery Gifts members regularly volunteer at our +BOX Pack Out events.
Recently, the Grocery Gifts team made a generous financial contribution to our efforts and we could not be more thankful! With the funds, we were able to provide gift cards for our Carlsbad neighbors during our Thanksgiving distribution. The +BOXes delivered to Jefferson Elementary School on November 16th were packed with a $25 gift card, in addition to Thanksgiving themed fruits, vegetables and legumes. We immediately received some tremendous feedback, including the following email:
Hello. I want to share how helpful this box has been to me and my family; with the pandemic me and my 3 kids had to move to Mexico because we couldn't pay bills and rent here in the US. So last month, we finally came back to Carlsbad, CA, and I put my kids to Jefferson Elementary. Since then, I have been getting this box and want to say thanks because when I first got it I was so in need of food. And now that I got a box I got my first check of work but they put a big hold on it so I ended up with no money and finding that Walmart card inside is so much bless.
Thanks so much god bless you and return this to you with many happiness.
As you can tell, the gift card had an amazing impact on the families we support. Based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received, we would like to repeat the gift card inclusion for the holidays, but this time for all of the families we support in Carlsbad, Encinitas, and Vista. We plan to include a $25 gift card in every +BOX to provide food insecure families with extra financial support for a happy, healthy holiday. We invite you to consider donating yourself and even encouraging others to do so as well.