Expressing that the past year has rocked both the non-profit and business sectors would certainly be an understatement. The pandemic has caused our community to shift, adapt, close down, re-open and support one another in ways that most of us would never have imagined. Many of us found ourselves facing financial and logistical difficulties that have forever changed the dynamic of how we do things. The Believe and Achieve Foundation has faced each of these struggles in the past twelve months. Limited fundraising events immediately shifted how the organization could plan to support programs dedicated to enriching the lives of our children and their families, particularly the most vulnerable of the community. The stop of face-to-face interaction with teachers, mentors and care takers through youth programming along with the increased need for mental and nutritional support across the county forced the organization to become creative.
The Foundation is a community funded organization, raising money through fundraising, private donations, business sponsorships and grants. “In the fundraising world, we rely heavily on the restaurant industry”- says Director Kate Magee. “They donate dollars and services as well as food and venues consistently throughout the year. The Chester County restaurant community has always been more than generous! Our hearts began to bleed for those who supported us for so long, who now found themselves struggling to keep doors open.” Simultaneously, food insecurity continues to be on the rise.
Believe and Achieve came up with a unique way to feed the community and support these small businesses. The #100meals Campaign launched in November of 2020 just before Thanksgiving, and just after the second restaurant shut down in Pennsylvania. #100meals seems to be the magic number. It is a manageable amount of meals for a small businesses to produce on a single occasion. #100meals is also a very realistic number for partner agencies and feeding sites to safely and effectively distribute without any food or money going to waste. The partner restaurants are reimbursed by the foundation for $9 per meal. It is a significant enough amount of income that it can help their bottom line.
On Thursday March 4th, Believe and Achieve will surpass 1000th meal mark & they feel like this is just the beginning. There is a sense of quality and dignity that comes along with taking home a restaurant quality meal to your hungry family, it is something that every person involved can feel extremely good about. The foundation has worked with feeding organizations in Coatesville, Kennet, Pottstown and Phoenixville, with plans to continue to grow this list. Just this week Believe and Achieve upped the ante even more by launching “March Meal Madness.” Through this campaign they have committed to providing 500 meals in the month of March alone.
Believe and Achieve is accepting donations as well as recommendations for partnerships and volunteers through the website www.believeandachievefoundation.org. Companies or individuals interested in sponsoring a #100meals Outreach Operation can contact Director of Development, Kara Todd at [email protected]. “It is a super simple concept, every dollar in- goes directly back out to support our small businesses and feed those in the community who need it most. Together we will get through this continued wave of uncertainty- by creating, adapting and thinking outside the box!”