Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many industries have come to full halts nationwide. Freelancers, especially those who work in entertainment and the arts, are now left stranded without resources to survive.
My name is Isabella, and I'm a freelancer myself from NYC. I work as a 1st Assistant Director for the film industry, and I've seen first-hand how COVID-19 has shut down my network's entire livelihood for the foreseeable future.
I knew that many of my fellow freelancers would be struggling to make ends meet and I brainstormed ways I could help.
In late March, I formed Feed the Freelancers.
Feed the Freelancers is an initiative to distribute groceries to non-union freelancers, who are treated by many companies as sub-contractors. Being that they are not being paid as employees, freelancers are being overlooked by the majority of programs providing aid. Feed the Freelancers aims to alleviate this disenfranchised group of some financial burden and to ensure they receive proper nutrition.
I sent out a survey to find the people in need, came up with ways to receive groceries and signed on individuals who can help.
Since then, I've received an overwhelming response from both volunteers and target recipients! We partner closely with F.E.E.L. (Film & Entertainment Emergency Logistics), and we now have several businesses providing donations and discounts on produce, shelf-stable goods, and household necessities.
Our recipient list is constantly growing, and we want to make sure we can source enough for all of them. I will use all donations to purchase groceries for recipients, PPE/site supplies/reimbursements for our packing volunteers, rentals for delivery vehicles, and reimbursements for our delivery drivers. For $25, you can send a grocery box to a freelancer who needs it! We will first serve freelancers affected in NYC but hope to move nationwide once our initiative is fully up and running.
In addition, I am personally matching donations up to a total of $500 to get this initiative off the ground.