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May 27, 2021

It’s been quite a stressful year: uncertainty; physical and financial stress; pain and anger; sadness; lots of unsettling newness and change. But there has also been reflection and collaboration leading to positive growth, support and change. Sometimes it takes something drastic to make us pause and rethink what should be done and what can be done. Though the long-term future of the Collaborative in its current form is unknown, we know that the work done by our creative, loving and forward-thinking team of west side social workers over the past 15 months has been transformative in how we view supporting our students and their families in their homes, schools, and communities in an effort to help meet their needs. This is the model that fuels the Collaborative and we are working to create lasting impacts moving forward.
Regarding the Collaborative’s outlook for the short-term, we will continue operating our rent and bill assistance fund and our grocery deliveries through the summer. Through June 11th, we will continue weekly grocery deliveries. After June 11th and for the remainder of the summer, we will transition to bi-weekly grocery deliveries and will be temporarily moving operations to Thoreau Elementary’s back parking lot on Cherokee Drive per the below schedule:
May 28th (Westminster)
June 4th (Westminster)
June 11th (Westminster)
June 25th (Westminster)
July 9th (Westminster)
July 23rd (Thoreau)
August 6th (Thoreau)
August 20th (Thoreau)
We currently serve approximately 265 families weekly (after averaging 330 deliveries per week for most of the school year) and anticipate the number of families needing deliveries to continue to drop as we move into summer. As summer progresses, we will work with MMSD, social workers and Second Harvest to put in place sustainable plans for all of our families moving forward. It will take some time to figure everything out and there will be some uncertainty (word of the year?) as to what changes will take place in our food model, but we will continue to make sure that family and student voices are elicited and their values prioritized when these decisions are made. 
Please keep the Collaborative in mind when looking for volunteer opportunities now and over the summer and we will keep you apprised of our future plans.

What Can You Do to Support the Collaborative?

Volunteer: We are always in need of Friday delivery drivers between 8:45 AM and 12:00 PM. Please share the United Way volunteer link with your friends and neighbors. For a complete description of all of our volunteer needs go to our Volunteer Page.

Donations: Make a monetary donation or donate non-food supplies (cleaning and personal hygiene) by following the links on our Donation Page.