There is no better approach to addressing complex challenges than coming together to harness the collective strengths of the community for the greater good. In the spirit of innovative community partnerships, Bellevue LifeSpring recently connected our partners at Amazon with the Bellevue School District to offer nutritional support to Bellevue children in need during the COVID-19 crisis
As schools and local businesses began to shut down, we knew the need for resources to support low-income families in Bellevue was escalating and that it would continue to increase each day. We needed to act quickly and strategically, to respond immediately and provide food and essential supplies to families.
Each day, 3,500 Bellevue students depend on free breakfast and lunch at school for nutrition. When schools closed, food distribution sites were put in place at three schools so that kids could still have access to free meals. However, due to strict USDA guidelines, families had to sign up for meals each night and meals were only available during a two-hour window each day. Families without transportation had a barrier to accessing the meals being provided.
To address these issues, Bellevue LifeSpring immediately provided families with Safeway food vouchers so that children had access to food while schools were closed. However, access barriers still remained. Families who were quarantined due to the virus or had limited transportation to get to a Safeway store still were not able to get access to nutrition. We realized a need to complete the final step in a wraparound approach to food insecurity during this crisis.
Our partnership with Amazon provided additional resources and helped solve the transportation barrier issue. Through a donation from Amazon, families that are in isolation or don’t have access to transportation will receive credits redeemable for eligible grocery, health, and personal care items sold on Amazon.com through the month of April. Food and other essential items will be delivered directly to the homes of families in need during this hectic time.
“As our community continues to experience the social and health impacts from COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon is committed to bridging the gap to provide families in need with the assistance to obtain basic needs,” said Bettina Stix, senior manager of community engagement at Amazon. “We listened to our partners and saw an opportunity to leverage Amazon’s uniqueness to fill a gap for students and their families during this unprecedented time of uncertainty.”
“Amazon has been an incredible partner during this critical time,” commented Jennifer Fischer, executive director for Bellevue LifeSpring. “They came to the table and helped solve a problem to ensure children and families have access to food and nutrition. We are grateful that they came to the table with an immediate solution to fill an important gap. Working together, we are ensuring that hunger is not another symptom of this virus,” she added.
The power of partnerships is evident during this time and it shows why we are better together. We want to extend a heartfelt thank you to Amazon for partnering with us to support Bellevue families in need during this uncertain and unprecedented time.
Stay informed on our coronavirus emergency response here.