February Beyond Belief Network Roundup!

Teams in our Food Security Project (FSP) held 40 events in February, serving 12,366 individual beneficiaries! Additional teams in the Beyond Belief Network (BBN) held 11 more service events.

Recognitions

Photo of the Month goes to Austin Atheists Helping the Homeless for the above shot from their pre-packing event for their big monthly giveaway to unsheltered people. Each month before the giveaway, volunteers come together to sort through boxes of toiletries and food, organize it on an assembly line, and pack individual bags to be handed out on the distribution day.

Team of the Month goes to Kenya Humanist Alliance (KHA). This dynamite FSP team…

  • Distributed maize to people in Kisumu, where people have been strugging with hunger due to drought-induced shortages of this staple crop. The team gave out about 75 tins each weighing 2 kilograms to 30 households—about two days worth of food.
  • Brought 43 litres of fresh mango, avocado, pineapple, and beetroot juice to two nursery/preprimary schools in Miwani Ward. While there, they also a tested a refrigerator FBB helped them acquire to keep the produce fresh and supply cold drinking water to the beneficiaries.
  • Donated foodstuffs to the incarcerated people at Eldama Ravine Prison and committing to sending volunteer teachers, counselors, and wellness experts to help the inmates.
  • Prepared food for orphans and widows (mostly rice and beans, staple foods in Kenya).
  • Spent time with orphans, giving them advice on how to improve their academic performance, counseling them, and guiding them on how to pass upcoming exams.
  • Donated to each person at the orphanage 2kg of sugar, 2kg of maize flour, 1kg of salt, and 200 grams of tea leaves
  • Worked on building a two-room house to act as a dormitory in KHA’s orphanage

Also, thanks to a recent swag grant from FBB, the team received branded reflector jackets to be useful during their events. (Reflector jackets are commonly associated with reputable NGOs and charities working in Kenya.)

KHA writes: “We sincerely thank FBB and the kindest donors for all the support we do get. We are trying our best to balance our activities with the funds we get. Thank you so much FBB/BBN.”

Team Reports

North Orlando Oasis

This Food Security Project team worked with Connecting Care Kitchens  to buy food from local organic farms for delivery to shelters. They met four times, delivering 125 pounds of food to domestic violence shelter Harbor House.

 

Humanists of Tallahassee

This Food Security Project team met five times to participate in a snack/hygiene pack distribution in collaboration with local progressives at a Methodist church. Beneficiaries received granola bars, water, applesauce, pudding, peanut butter crackers, Vienna sausages washcloths, soap, shampoo, deodorant, razors, toothbrush, toothpaste, menstrual products, and socks.

 

Austin Humanists At Work

This Texas FSP crew met nine times to serve and deliver hot meals in partnership with Austin’s Charlie Center and Mosaic Street Ministry. Lots of people commented on how they liked the home cooking, which included regional favorites like jambalaya, yogurt parfaits, beef stew, and cornbread!

 

Southeastern Virginia Atheists, Skeptics, And Humanists

This FSP team used funds from FBB to contribute 367 pounds (about $330 worth) of food to their two free food pantries in the towns of Norfolk and Newport News.

 

Humanist Alliance Philippines International (HAPI)

This group’s big contribution in February was their “HAPI Day” feeding program—sponsored by FBB and a local bakery—which provides nutritious meals to selected beneficiaries who need them the most. Patients and hospital front-liners currently in isolation due to COVID exposure received 100 meal packs and fresh vegetables.

 

Central Ohio United Non Theists (COUNT)

Six volunteers from this Beyond Belief Network team worked at the Van Buren Center shelter, serving dinners and cleaning up afterward. 111 of their volunteers have worked 1,282.5 hours in 85 events at the Van Buren Center to date!

Later, they worked as housewarmers at a Ronald McDonald House, helping with tasks like greeting, answering phones, giving tours, cleaning, restocking, and staffing the front desk. COUNT volunteers have contributed 1,824 hours there since 2013.

 

Northwestern Chicagoland Humanist Crew

This BBN team participated in a Fill A Heart 4 Kids program called Project Valentine, giving Valentines and other items to foster kids so they feel loved during the holiday. The team says this was a great way to get kids involved in their service work!

 

Central Florida Freethought Community

This BBN team removed debris at six-acre Kewannee Park and accompanying areas in Casselberry, FL!

 

Atheist Community of Polk County

Volunteers in this Florida FSP team met three times to provide weekend food supplies for food-insecure elementary school students, and once for a food giveaway for people experiencing homelessness!

 

Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix

This FSP team continued crocheting plarn sleeping mats for people experiencing homelessness. Three more mats were ready for giveaway after 13 people attended their last meetup. One of the experienced crocheters sat down with three returning folks to help refresh their skills, while another taught a left-handed first-timer how to cut bags and make plarn.

The organization also convened a service committee to talk at HSGP’s public meetings to talk about upcoming plans and encourage participation.

 

Austin Atheists Helping the Homeless

15 volunteers from this FSP team met for their monthly giveaway of essentials. They braved the cold to pack and distribute 160 bags of aid in 3 locales, plus lots of hot beverages and a “massive” amount of dog food for pet owners. They also had a huge amount of clothes to offer, including hand-knitted scarfs and hats.

 

Atheists United

After cleaning up their adopted stretch of highway, these Los Angeles FSP volunteers held their own big monthly giveaway, sorting and distributing 110 food kits weighing 33.5 pounds each. They also gave out 200 pounds of dog food.

 

Food Rescue Alliance teams

Four of affiliates of our major grantee Food Rescue Alliance are among the volunteer teams receiving grants in the Food Security Project. Here’s what they’ve been up to:

The Food Drive

This Melrose, Massachusetts team bundled up for subzero wind chills, climbed over snow piles, navigated ice patches, and doubled up on food rescues following nor’easters! In the midst of juggled schedules and crazy conditions, The Food Drive rescued just over 19,000 pounds of food in February.

Blizzards mean panic shopping followed by overstocked shelves, so staff and volunteers made use of their well-honed car packing skills to fit hundreds of pounds of food in their vehicles. Winter 2022 also means rising food prices and inflation, so they’re seeing a rising demand for food for all of their recipients as well. The Food Drive distributed food to partners in eleven communities in February, ranging from multiple weekly deliveries for the grocery, dinner, and pantry programs at Bread of Life in Malden to a two-block weekly journey from Buckalew’s General Store to Pantry of Hope in Melrose.

 

CORMII Community Development Corporation

This Rockingham County, North Carolina team did what they do best—meeting for weekly curbside food distributions every Thursday 4 pm to 5 pm Eastern!

 

CAFE Food Rescue

This Summit County, Colorado team just became an official intermediary transporter for Food Bank of the Rockies’ Feeding America Grocery Program! They’re also picking up donations at an Einstein’s Bagels four days a week and had two collections from a VA Department Military and Veterans Affairs conference center. CAFE estimates they collected 1,400 pounds of food in February.

This food went to the Summit Community Care Clinic, Father Dyer Church food pantry and community dinner, FIRC pantries, Smart Bellies, and the Summit Community and Senior Center.

They’re also still working on their first website, and to get licensed to repackage large pans of food so that they are useable by partner agencies. The team says it’s a complex issue but their County and State Departments of Health have been very supportive and helpful.

 

360 Eats

Located in Safet Harbor, FL, this group met four times to serve about 400 nutritious meals to food insecure people in partnership with The Mattie Williams Neighborhood Family Center.


Sponsor one of these hard-working teams by setting up a recurring donation of $100 per month.