Guest Blog by Colleen Streetman. Colleen has been associated with Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s BackPack Buddies program in some way for 20+ years. The PORCH (People Offering Relief for Chapel Hill-Carrboro) model of monthly neighborhood food drives simply asks residents to leave a food donation on their front porch for a neighborhood coordinator who picks-up and delivers the food. Colleen shares how she brought that successful model to the Oak City.
About two and a half years ago, I read about PORCH Durham via the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. I Googled PORCH Raleigh, excited that this was definitely a way I could help the Food Shuttle and fit in my schedule pretty easily. But there was no PORCH Raleigh! So I told my friend and IFFS Co-Founder Jill Staton-Bullard that I wanted to start one. And she said OK (because she is awesome - seriously, have you seen what this woman has inspired in the last 25 years?).
Thrilled to have the support of IFFS, I met with the now 501c3 non-profit PORCH Durham co-founders and got some pointers. The Durham chapter has recruited coordinators in 80 neighborhoods, completely supplying all of the food needed for IFFS’ Durham BackPack Buddies program. They were great to learn from!
— melissa bertone (@bigfatcarrot) April 7, 2016
So now you’re asking, what does PORCH Raleigh do?
As a resident in a PORCH neighborhood, it’s easy. While I’m shopping for my family, I might pick up an extra box of granola bars and a bulk box of Easy Mac. Or maybe one month I’ll grab the 18-pack of Organic milk or a bulk pack of juice boxes. (Click here for the most needed food items.) I buy based on my budget, and I am fortunate that I can always give something.
And of course, the whole point is that my donations + your donations + John’s donations + Jane’s donations + her neighbor’s and their neighbors = A LOT OF DONATIONS that feed so many kids in our community!
But what’s so great about PORCH Raleigh is that we make it even easier by picking up the donations once a month from your front porch and delivering right to IFFS!
I started collecting from families in my neighborhood, and my friend Jana Saur started collecting in her neighborhood too. Lucky for me, she was just as excited about this program as I was and she offered to help me grow it. Little by little, we are growing - in spite of our crazy life schedules!
Real easy, real impact