Families affiliated with Providence Day School pooled their giving together in a three-day fund drive last week which surpassed all expectations and netted $150,000 for Loaves & Fishes to use to purchase groceries for families in need.
It’s one of the largest single gifts received by the agency since the COVID-19 crisis began, said Tina Postel, Executive Director of Loaves & Fishes.
The gifts came from more than 580 families including current parents, alumni, faculty, staff, alumni parents, and grandparents who gave in response to an appeal sent out Tuesday by the school’s Parents’ Association. They included a $50,000 matching gift from the Blank family, which has a current Lower School student and two alumni of the school.
“I have literally been brought to tears by your generosity,” Dima Daher, president of the Providence Day Parents’ Association, said in an email to families. “When we decided to embark on this campaign to raise funds for Loaves & Fishes to buy groceries for families in need, we set a goal of $25,000 and had no idea whether it would be realistic to achieve during this unprecedented time. But together, you all surpassed my wildest expectations and reached a number I could never have dreamed was possible.”
“We are overjoyed by the generosity of the Providence Day parents! This gift will have an immediate impact in helping to feed thousands of our neighbors in need. Since this crisis began, the number of people we are feeding has tripled. We have gone from providing groceries for 1,200 people a week to over 3,500 a week.” Adds Postel, “As you can see, the need is great.”
Loaves & Fishes provides a week’s worth of nutritionally balanced groceries to families and individuals in Mecklenburg Co. Last year they provided groceries to over 80,000 people, enough to fill Bank of America stadium, through a network of food pantries. In response to the COVID-19 health crisis, Loaves & Fishes has temporarily closed its “brick and mortar” pantries and has switched to mobile “drive-through” style food distribution sites.