The Issue: Kids with Limited Access to Nutritious Food
In 2011, more than 387,000 people in Washington State—1 in 7 families—were unsure of the source of their next meal, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Additionally, since more than 16,000 kids rely on the free and reduced-price lunch program during the school year, the summer months put an extra burden on low-income families, who may not have access to fresh, nutritious food.
The Campaign: Distributing Sack Lunches to Kids
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Centerstone to distribute lunches to local schoolchildren. For every $7 raised, Centerstone can purchase sack lunches for two kids in the Centerstone program during the summer months. Once a week, kids will receive five lunches packed with nutritious food such as sandwiches from local cafés, juice or milk boxes, and fruits and vegetables.
One day when she was leaving the Centerstone office in downtown Seattle, CEO Andrea Caupain met a homeless man outside the building. She stopped to talk to him and he explained that he couldn’t eat the food he had just picked up from the food bank. He had a week’s worth of fresh food, but no pot to cook it in. So, the next day she brought him a pot from home that he could use to cook his meals with from then on. This interaction reflects the core of Centerstone’s mission: to be a lifeline in the community.
Centerstone began in the '60s as part of the War on Poverty movement. Along with 29 other community action agencies formed in the state, it advocated for low-income individuals’ rights in legislation and provided them with daily necessities through on-the-ground programs. Over the years it evolved and began offering services to anyone in need. Today, Centerstone provides energy, housing, and food assistance for families, seniors, immigrants, and people with disabilities who are having financial difficulties. Centerstone pays bills so people can keep their heat on in the winter, provides deposits for people trying to obtain a new apartment, and distributes food at a local food bank. Beyond helping clients meet their basic needs, Centerstone also teaches them life and money management skills.