With your support, we reached our first and second goals - $15,000, and then $30,000!
This has jumpstarted the Initiative, and in our first 8 days of service, we have provided over 900 meals free of cost to those who need them most!
WE HAVE ADAPTED THE FUNDRAISING GOAL AGAIN, THIS TIME ADJUSTED TO OUR BUDGET FOR A FULL 8 WEEKS OF DURHAM NEIGHBORS FREE LUNCH! We have also increased our meal capacity from 100/day to 125/day, and aim to keep increasing that capacity until we reach 200/day. With your continued gifts, we can make this happen. In addition to preparing meals at Geer Street Garden, we are putting together a network of additional local restaurants that can serve as "satellite kitchens" to prepare more meals, increasing the Initiative's total capacity as rapidly as possible. To do this, we need approximately $59,730. Can you help us get there?
*** IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO MAKE A DIRECT TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION TO OUR NON PROFIT SPONSOR, DON'T WASTE DURHAM, PLEASE CONTACT US DIRECTLY. Donations to this GoFundMe are not tax deductible at this time***
Durham Public Schools students and many of their families need food. Our homeless population is struggling more than ever to access food as restaurants and volunteer groups limit their hours, and the public becomes more reluctant to give. Thousands of workers, particularly in the service and restaurant industry, are currently laid off. The need is urgent, and the time to act is now.
In response, the Durham Neighbors Free Lunch Initiative was born. Its goal is to provide contactless FREE meals, Monday-Friday, through our local restaurant partner Geer Street Garden. These meals will be made with local ingredients, prepared by workers paid a living wage, and given to anyone who needs them, no questions asked.
As a starting point, we will provide 100 meals per day, 5 days per week (Monday - Friday), from April 9 - May 15.
OUR FIRST MEAL SERVICE BEGINS AT 11:30AM, THURSDAY, APRIL 9.
We are having to start a little later on the first day because the food delivery won't be coming until that very morning. The following meals will be available for pickup between 10am and 2pm.
As the need calls, we are prepared to adapt this plan.
The initiative addresses the following 3 issues:
- Provide healthy, accessible meals for anyone who is food insecure. Our focus is Durham Public Schools students, our homeless population, and workers who have been laid off in relation to COVID-19. That being said, anyone in need of a meal can have it.
- Support our local farms who have lost markets for their goods as wholesale buyers and restaurants shut down.
- Put a restaurant back into service and pay a living wage to 4 employees, 20 hours per week (with more to follow), in a safe and healthy capacity.
We take the health and safety of the workers, volunteers, and public very seriously. All operations will be following or superseding the recommendations of medical health authorities. All workers, organizers, and volunteers will go through a verbal health check in and have their temperature taken before beginning shifts. All workers, organizers, and volunteers will use recommended PPE (personal protective equipment) during operations, including face masks, gloves, and approved cleaning materials. Meals will be served in a “contactless” fashion and physical distancing of at least 6 feet will be in place.
This is a grassroots, community supported, direct action food program. We feel strongly that the time to take action on hunger is right now, so we will begin serving meals this week at Geer Street Garden. Those that need food may have it, and those that can pay for their meals are welcome to. If you are able to give more than the cost of your meal, that pays for the next person. Until all are fed.
Please give a gift today if you are able! We are also in need of volunteers, please contact us if you have the ability to volunteer.
Solidarity, not charity.
Elijah King, Founder of Youth NXT, Student activist
Grant Ruhlman, local business owner, Homebucha Kombucha
George O'Neal, local farmer, Lil Farm
- Mercy Neal
- Galen Howlett
- Ellen Brisley