Since
2015, The Arc has been the proud recipient of a grant from the Corporation for
National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that funds the national
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service activities. Under this grant, chapters
of The Arc and other organizations executed projects all across the U.S, uniting
volunteers with and without disabilities in service to their communities.

With the
pandemic plunging millions into hunger, the following organizations followed in
the footsteps of their predecessors and designed initiatives that sought to
reduce food insecurity in their individual neighborhoods:  

The Arc
of Midland
(MI); Ridge Area Arc (FL); The Arc Nature Coast (FL); The Arc of the Glades (FL); The Arc of South Carolina; UCP Seguin
(IL); The Arc of Oklahoma (formerly TARC); Choices for Community Living, Inc. (DE); The Arc of Southwest Colorado; The Arc Lane County (OR); The Arc of Rockland (NY); AHRC New York City; Holly Ridge Center (WA); The Arc Jacksonville (FL); Youth Impact (TX); The Nashville Food Project (TN); The Arc Williamson County (TN); The Arc Central Virginia; Boys & Girls Club Blue Ridge (VA); Stone
Soup Cafe/All Souls Church

(MA); Star, Inc. (CT); Arc of Calhoun & Cleburne Counties (AL); Cass Community Social Services (MI),
and last but certainly not least, Arc of
Quad Cities Area
(IL)

These grantees worked tirelessly to deliver food assistance to their neighbors experiencing food insecurity, many for the first time. With the pandemic in full swing by March, organizations quickly modified their initiatives to adhere to social distancing guidelines.   Projects ranged in size and scope, and often reflected the culture of their community. Volunteers engaged in a variety of service opportunities, including:

  • Organizing
    food drives to collect food from individuals, businesses, and restaurants
  • Working
    in gardens or with farmers to gather, package, and distribute fresh fruits and
    vegetables to local food banks
  • Strengthening
    the capacity of local Meals on Wheels and Elderly Nutrition programs to serve
    home-bound seniors
  • Partnering
    with soup kitchens and elementary schools to serve lunch and dinner to
    community residents experiencing food insecurity

At the
end of the grant period, 3,500 volunteers with and without disabilities had served
76,000 meals to 30,000 of their neighbors, contributing 27,000 hours and $753,000
in value
to their respective organizations.

At a moment when the need for
hunger assistance continues to climb in America, every grantee rose to the challenge.
More importantly, while these dedicated organizations were delivering food
aid to their neighbors, they were simultaneously demonstrating a timeless truth:
the tremendous contribution volunteers with disabilities bring to their local communities.
For all their time and efforts, The Arc will be forever grateful.

With
COVID-19 wreaking havoc so many lives, volunteering in your local community is
more important than ever. The Arc is once
again partnering with CNCS to offer $5,000, $10,000, and $15,000 grants
to chapters of The Arc and other local nonprofit organizations to develop
September 11th Day of Service and Remembrance projects. Learn
more about this exciting opportunity and
apply by December
4
. We would love to have your
organization join us!

The post 2020 MLK Grantees Continue the Fight Against Hunger appeared first on The Arc.

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