October Service Team Roundup!

Teams in our Food Security Project (FSP) reported 43 events in October, serving 13,910 individual beneficiaries and giving out 6,045 meals!

 Additional GO Humanity Service Teams (GO Teams) held 12 more service events.

New Team

Our newest GO Team is Atheists Helping the Homeless Phoenix, a 501(c)3 which networks with friends, family, co-workers, and like-minded citizens to gather supplies for distribution. They’ve collected and distributed toiletries, hygiene items, and basic clothing regularly for over five years.

Photo of the Month

Humanist Alliance Philippines International (HAPI)

Our favorite picture this month (above) shows HAPI’s feeding program in Zambales, providing healthy food for families of fisherfolk whose challenges are compounded during the rainy season. 120 children received pancit bihon (Chinese noodles), bread, and lemonade. In addition to the meals, kids received 50 story books!

In addition to that, HAPI also held…

  • An elementary school feeding program in Zambales, where volunteers gave out 110 food and drink packs in a poor area where struggling kids usually go unnoticed. They partnered with a local bakery to prepare rice noodles with vegetables.
  • An HIV/AIDS Awareness Campaign, where volunteers discussed LGBTQ+ equality and disease prevention, and provided free testing for twenty attendees.
  • A feeding program in Cavite, where the team fed 100 children arroz caldo (rice porridge with chicken) and eggs—a favorite dish of local kids.
  • Tending to a community garden in Barangay Indahag that benefits its members, their families, and neighbors.
  • Halloween events in Delarama and Alabang. Halloween is not commonly celebrated in the Philippines the way it is in other countries, so HAPI prepared treats and hearty meals consisting of sopas (chicken macaroni soup with vegetables), bread rolls with peanut butter, bananas, and juice. Approximately 140 children and 60 adults were served. The kids were given access to costume pieces and props so they could take pictures dressed as different characters. Many children in the Philippines have not experienced dressing up or trick-or-treating on October 31st due to cultural and religious traditions, so this offered them the opportunity to just have fun. The kids also received Halloween loot bags before they went home.

 

Team of the Month

Austin Atheists Helping the Homeless DC (AHH DC)

Volunteers braved long commutes to pack and serve snack/hygiene kits for 96 people, plus distribute 20 pairs of donated shoes, three backpacks, and 17 fabric shopping bags! They also passed out two packages of pads for urinary incontinence.

As they try to do with every distribution, AHH DC provided nonperishable food, socks, toothbrushes, toothpaste, tuna packs, and breakfast bars. They also fielded requests for nail clippers, safety razors, and shaving cream. They distributed all the kits within 3 hours!

Volunteers knew some of the clients and it was very pleasant to catch up on recent events. Clients told volunteers about their job hunts and their never-ending searches for suitable places to sleep. They also chatted about various topics like politics and learning foreign languages.

GO Humanity provided $100, their only source of financial support for the food.

 

Orlando Oasis

This is the team that you’ve been supporting as part of our response to Hurricane Ian. In addition to their efforts to help struggling communities repair their houses, salvage their belongings, and meet emergency financial needs, Oasis met four times to rescue food and deliver it to low-income communities. They also met ten times to buy produce from local organic farms and deliver it to shelters!

 

Freethinkers Association of Central Texas (FACT)

FACT helps prepare and serve food for the Haven for Hope Transformational Center! They made fries in a huge containers to accompany chicken sandwiches and salad for just over 300 people. FACT says there were more families and children for this meal than any they’ve seen in quite a while.

Later in the month, FACT hit the streets of San Antonio to distribute food, tents, hygiene supplies, water, and other necessities to those experiencing homelessness. They found a great new location, had a huge turnout, and staffed three tables. Since it was still hot, they gave out 10 gallons of Kool-Aid in addition to food. Next time, they plan to incorporate fresh produce.

 

Austin Atheists Helping the Homeless

This team held their monthly giveaway, packing and distributing 180 bags of food, plus 70 pounds of pet food and other essentials for people experiencing homelessness!

They also met up with a client they helped over three years ago by giving him some steel-toed workboots for a job. He still has the job, and the team got him a new pair of boots!

 

Atheists United

This team held their monthly giveaway in Los Angeles’ Historic Filipinotown. They gave out 119 food kits, each consisting of 34 pounds of food plus menstrual products for those who needed them.

 

Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT)

Three COUNT volunteers worked as housewarmers at the Ronald McDonald House, and another worked in the kitchen for the Van Buren Center shelter. The team has contributed 1,932 volunteer hours to Ronald McDonald House since 2013, and 1,308 to Van Buren Center.

 

Humanists of Tallahassee (HoT)

HoT met for their weekly collaboration with a local progressive church, wherein volunteers give snack and hygiene packs to unhoused neighbors. Packs consist of a granola bar, water, applesauce, pudding, peanut butter crackers, Vienna sausages, washcloth, soap, shampoo, deodorant, razor, toothbrush, toothpaste, period products when applicable, and socks.

They also installed their first Help Shelf—a free outdoor pantry providing toiletries, clothing, and canned goods. The shelf is located outside Sabal Palm Elementary School, which serves the poorest zip code in Florida. The shelf will be stocked by HoT members as well as interested community members.

 

Southeastern Virginia Atheists, Skeptics & Humanists (SEVASH)

SEVASH maintains two Little Free Pantries in the towns of Newport News and Norfolk. In September, 13 known volunteers contributed 563 pounds of food at a cost of roughly $505. With funds received from GO Humanity, they were better able to reimburse contributors and increase contribution levels.

 

Humanists of West Florida (HWF)

This team met weekly to distribute packs of non-perishable food to food insecure individuals, giving out 180 packs altogether.

This was a little less than usual because police were canvassing the area and some beneficiaries did not attend. So far, there have been no formal protests, but local the government has made it clear they do not like unsheltered people being visible. HWF has committed to following Food Not Bombs if they are displaced from their usual location.

 

Humanists of Polk County

This team met three times in October to provide weekend food supplies to students a local elementary school who are experiencing food insecurity!

 

Northwestern Chicagoland Humanist Crew

These volunteers cleaned up a new Adopt-a-Highway spot, filling four bags of trash over two hours.

 

Central Florida Freethought Community (CFFC)

CFFC removed trash from two miles of green spaces along a sidewalk as part of their adopted road project.

 

Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix (HSGP)

 

HSGP met at the top of the month to discuss food budgets, shopping lists, supply and demand, stocking their community fridge, tracking supplies, new sources for donations, and options for stocking during cooler months. They also donated some old games in their community center in order to make room for their humanitarian projects.

Later, they crocheted plarn sleeping mats for people experiencing homelessness. 12 people attended this month’s crochet group, donating two mats plus a blanket, neck wraps, toiletries, and 15 bus passes to Human Services Campus.

After that, they joined Project Humanities for their Bimonthly Giveaway, distributing clothing and other items to 150-200 unsheltered adults.

Finally, HSGP also collected 28 units of blood for the Red Cross.

HSGP continues to maintain its Little Free Pantry and community fridge, with about 6 members stocking non-perishable foods and drinks. They have bilingual signs and a suggestion box. One recent message read, “I LOVE Otter Pops! I would do anything for them.”

The pantry is used multiple times daily and HSGP now gets several phone calls regularly asking what services we offer. The pantry is listed on Google Maps and on a Little Free Pantry registry. The team used their Flying Spaghetti Monster Celebration as an opportunity to generate donations to the pantry, with several people pledging to give $20 per month for the next year for supplies.

 

Susquehanna Valley Ethical Society (SVES)

SVES volunteered at the Food Hub in Lewisburg, PA, which collects and delivers food to local pantries! Volunteers sorted boxes of food, checked donations for freshness and safety, and stocked shelves. 40 meal boxes were packed for delivery to 40 families.

They also held a food collection for Haven Homeless Shelter, filling the back of an SUV with donated food!

 

Kenya Humanist Alliance

Kenya Humanist Alliance harvested vegetables to feed orphans and widows, then held a Weekend Without Hunger event, preparing chapati bread, beans, and vegetables for people suffering from famine and drought.

 

Kasese Humanist School

This team in Uganda tended to gardens producing green vegetables for the community. They procured several tins of amaranth seeds, which they hope will add some variety to the produce. They’re currently harvesting tomatoes and cabbages, and have eggplants and garden eggs on the way. About 20 children are helping take care of the garden (along with paid laborers) and the harvests are benefitting about 45 kids and 15 families.

 

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:

360 Eats

This team in Safety Harbor, FL served 500 nutritious meals to food insecure people in partnership with The Mattie Williams Neighborhood Family Center, Harbor Pointe Assisted Living, Oldsmar Cares, and Pinellas Hope.

 

CAFE Food Rescue

In October, CAFE Food Rescue saved 4,004 pounds of food from landfills, mostly from a local conference center. This brings their year-to-date total to 25,000 pounds of rescued food!

They also participated in a farm glean in Payonia, CA, bringing 500 pounds of cabbage, chiles, eggplant, and apples back to community partners!

They added a new treasurer with organizational development experience, renewing some of the team’s fire. Now they’re looking for their own space to rent or buy to help with logistics.

 

The Food Drive

In addition to holding 130 food rescues in October, The Food Drive in Melrose, Massachusetts launched the final phase of its Community Freezer program: weekly distribution! In partnership with a local church, Melrose Community Freezer offers free nutritious, balanced frozen meals for people experiencing need. Distribution is open every Sunday afternoon and each guest chooses three frozen meals from a wide selection. Guests also get a packet of homemade treats made with love by children and youth.

Since local food relief services are limited on weekends, the short-term goal of the Sunday distribution is to bridge a gap between Fridays and Tuesdays when no other local organizations are hosting giveaways. The long-term goal is to maintain an inventory of entrees for specific dietary needs, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, low fat, dairy free, and low salt items that are not always readily available at pantries and soup kitchens.

Since its launch in early 2022, the Melrose Community Freezer program has provided over 450 meals!

 

CORMII Community Development Corporation

This team in Rockingham County, North Carolina meets every Thursday to hold a curbside food distribution!