Update on dramatic increase in enrollment
Right now, times are incredibly difficult for kids and their families in our community. The ongoing impact of COVID, inflation in all areas but particularly food, reductions in government support programs, and many other challenges are causing dramatic increases in enrollment for Every Meal’s Weekend Meal Program. We have seen a 34% increase in kids signing up to receive food support over the weekend, exceeding our expected 17% increase.
Below is an update from our President and Founder, Rob Williams, on what this truly means and how you can help.
I have always been very straightforward about both the good work and the challenges at Every Meal. Over the past decade, there have been plenty of both and together we have provided almost 10 million meals to Minnesota kids – we’ll reach 10 million in a few weeks! Today, I share the challenges we are facing and how we are working to address them.
While the costs to provide our needed programs continue to rise sharply, our fundraising efforts have not been able to rise at the same pace, creating a gap in our ability to meet the increased needs. Simply put, projected donations and our cash reserves are not sufficient to buy the food necessary to cover the increased need this school year.
In order to prioritize our mission to bridge the weekend gap during the school year for kids through our Weekend Meal Program, we are making difficult choices to postpone, modify, or eliminate other programs. Specifically, we have made the following difficult decisions to:
- cancel our Winter Meal and Spring Break programs for this school year;
- freeze all schools that were in the process of launching our Weekend Meal Program but had not yet sent enrollment forms home to the kids and families; and,
- eliminate double food bag distributions before longer weekends.
These have been very hard decisions and we are working hard to decrease costs while also raising additional funds to meet the needs of kids in our community. We will continue to monitor and provide updates on any changes to impacted programs, our progress toward meeting these needs, and ways in which you can help.
Thank you for your support of Every Meal’s mission and the kids and families we serve.
President and Founder