During one of the toughest years on record, learn how Cambia’s philanthropic partners, have helped make life a little easier for thousands of people in need.
Through December, we’ll highlight the work these nonprofit organizations have been doing and how they have utilized Cambia’s contributions in three areas where the impact to people and families has been great: food insecurity and nutrition; housing and homelessness; and substance abuse and mental/behavioral health.
Fighting Barriers to Food Access
The University of Utah Center for Community Nutrition – Salt Lake City, Utah
Through its Food, Movement and U program (FMU), the Center for Community Nutrition provides free diabetes-prevention and nutrition education for people experiencing homelessness. The FMU program serves about 600 people living in family-housing shelters.
This year FMU used Cambia funds to establish a new collaboration with Green Phoenix Farm, a job-training program hosted by our community partner Wasatch Community Gardens for women who have experienced homelessness. With the grant, FMU paid two graduates of the farm’s training program to teach shelter residents how to grow organic food. The farm donated hundreds of pounds of fresh produce to match the amount paid to their graduates through the Cambia grant. FMU also bought Crockpots, Instant Pots, rice cookers and other kitchen equipment that makes it possible for people to safely store and cook food while living in a shelter.
In addition, FMU used Cambia’s donation to purchase transit passes for shelter residents to study whether easier access to grocery stores and off-site emergency food pantries has an impact on food insecurity.
Through collaboration and judicious spending, FMU has managed to stretch the Cambia-provided grant so some of it can be deployed next season to make the program even more robust.
Sunshine Division – Portland, Oregon
Sunshine Division believes no one should go hungry. Through their own pantries and their partnership with 50 other food-relief organizations, they distribute more than 1.2 million pounds of free food annually. The nonprofit also provides emergency-assistance food relief 24 hours a day -- delivered by first responders -- and with the help of hundreds of volunteers, packs and delivers thousands of food boxes in December every year. Sunshine Division used its grant from Cambia to create a donor-challenge matching fund and produce a high-quality professional video to bring in end-of-year donations. “Video is a vital part of any successful fundraising endeavor these days, but high-quality production is expensive,” said Kyle Camberg, Executive Director. “Having quality video at hand to support our holiday fundraising messages will improve our ability to engage more donors.”
In a typical year Sunshine Division provides about 500 Thanksgiving meals to families across the Portland area, but this year the number was almost 6,000. The video produced with Cambia’s grant and our internal video team, will continue to support Sunshine Division’s fundraising efforts for the rest of the year. With the pandemic and economic hardship expected to continue well into 2021, the organization expects demand to be 10 times that of a normal year.
Community Action of Skagit County – Mt. Vernon, Washington
Community Action of Skagit County works to ensure that everyone in the county has an opportunity to be safe, healthy, and successful. The organization runs 20 programs and serves one in five Skagit County residents.
In 2020, Cambia funds were allocated to support a neighborhood services center, programs for senior and disabled people, COVID flexible relief funds and a food distribution center that supplies 85 percent of the county’s food banks.
“With the stressors around COVID-19, we were especially thankful that Cambia was willing and able to fund Community Action of Skagit County,” said Yuliya Rybalka, Donor Development Manager. “The flexible funding helped us pivot and adapt to provide services remotely and helped [existing programs] maintain their operations to serve our community members.”
See a video testimonial about the work of Community Action of Skagit County.
Metro Community Services (Metro Meals on Wheels) – Caldwell, Idaho
Metro Meals on Wheels and its volunteers deliver and serve meals every day to homebound senior citizens in Boise and Ada County. The meals are the only consistent source of nutrition for many people, and the need has increased by 100 meals a day over the past year.
This year Cambia’s grant provided a day of hot, nutritious meals for all 1,200 people in the Meals on Wheels program.