NOURISHING OUR HEALTHCARE HEROES
As predicted, January brought a huge number of patients experiencing complications from COVID-19 to Novant Huntersville. The increase, according to a hospital spokeswoman, was the result of people not heeding warnings to avoid celebrating the holidays with people who live outside their household. Doctors, nurses, and staff at the hospital in Huntersville were so inundated, they had no time to take a break!
Our contact (and Angels & Sparrows volunteer) Jen Huskey, from Novant Huntersville's Community Engagement team, reached out to see if we could help feed their staff as they provided critical care to patients during the COVID-19 spike. Of course, we said yes! Angels & Sparrows proudly provided more than 1,000 bag lunches to feed the healthcare heroes at Novant Huntersville!
You can help the team at Novant Huntersville by wearing a mask around those who don't live in your home, washing your hands frequently, and maintaining a distance from others of 6 feet or more when you're outside of your home!
TAKE HUNGER OFF THE BREAKFAST TABLE
National Cereal Day is March 5!
Each week, we provide boxes of non-perishable groceries to families in need of additional assistance. Unfortunately, we have not always been able to provide a box of cereal to families with children.
Because the number of families we are serving has increased dramatically, we are now distributing close to fifty boxes of cereal each week! Boxed cereal is one of the most costly items on our Immediate Needs List. As such, it is not an item we can afford to replace when our supply runs out!
In fact, last month, we did run out! We contacted Jason Colvin, from Jason Colvin State Farm, to see if he could help replenish our supply. And, he's helping in a BIG way! Jason is holding a cereal drive from now until National Cereal Day on March 5!
To date, 831 boxes have been collected toward our goal of 1,000 boxes! You can help by picking up a box of cereal the next time you visit the grocery store. Boxes can be delivered to Jason's office, located at 9525 Birkdale Crossing, Huntersville, Suite 204, or delivered to Angels & Sparrows weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Thank you for helping us take hunger off the breakfast table!
HOLIDAY MEAL BOX PROGRAM
MANY STILL SUFFERING ECONOMIC IMPACT OF PANDEMIC
OPPORTUNITIES TO HELP US FULFILL OUR MISSION!
THANK YOU TO OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS
Each week, our volunteers pickup hundreds of pounds of food from our grocers in the community including The Fresh Market in Cornelius, Huntersville Target, Huntersville Publix, and Trader Joe's in North Charlotte.
Food items are brought to the soup kitchen, weighed-in, and sorted. Sorted items, such as fresh produce, are used for the meals we prepare each weekday. Other items, such as canned goods and dairy products, are shared with our neighbors in need.
Together, these grocers provided 130,875 pounds of food equating to 109,063 meals in 2020! We are grateful for their ongoing support of Angels & Sparrows' mission and encourage you to thank them the next time you shop in their stores.
Media Contact: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Angels & Sparrows Soup Kitchen
Director of Development
Angels & Sparrows Soup Kitchen
ANGELS & SPARROWS ANNOUNCES ANNUAL IMPACT
The Economy Hasn’t Recovered for Our Neighbors in Need
Huntersville, NC, January 5, 2021 - The Economy hasn’t recovered for our neighbors in need. In 2020, Angels & Sparrows Soup Kitchen provided a record-breaking 213,627 meals from their kitchen and pantry in Huntersville, NC. This is a 73% increase over meals provided in 2019 as the number of families and scale of their need increased dramatically.
“The families we serve have been hit the hardest by this pandemic and recovery for those already in poverty is a lot slower than for those in the middle-to-upper income levels” said Jessika Tucker, Executive Director of Angels & Sparrows. “The crisis has clarified exactly how exposed a large portion of our community can actually be while others are affected in entirely different ways.”
Angels & Sparrows met the increased need by providing daily meals and fresh groceries via a drive-through service. In addition, they provided home delivery of meals and groceries to seniors and families who had lost access to transportation due to the pandemic. They also provided grocery boxes of non-perishable food items to families in need, Holiday Meal boxes to ensure families were able to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas, and provided other emergency assistance on a case-by-case basis.
“Many families are trying to live off of part-time jobs or are still without a job due to the COVID-19 crisis. Families are having to make the decision between which essentials are most critical such as rent, versus utility bills or food, and many were finding themselves on the brink of homelessness without options.”
The organization’s ability to scale the number of meals needed on a daily basis and provide additional services with little notice belies the size of their small 2,000 square foot building. "It is the reflection of a community that cares as evidenced by the outpouring of support received from donors and volunteers who provided extraordinary assistance with the increased effort to nourish the growing need in the North Mecklenburg community", said Tucker.
“While many nonprofit organizations shut down, Angels & Sparrows not only stayed open, we rallied and continually met the growing need among our neighbors. We could not have done this without the incredible response we received from the community. We exist because of the generosity of our donors and volunteers. We were able to make an unimaginable impact because of them,” said Tucker. To learn more about Angels & Sparrows Soup Kitchen, visit www.Angelsandsparrows.org
About Angels & Sparrows
Angels & Sparrows provides a community table for guests to enjoy a free, nutritious meal five days a week without requiring proof of need. Since 2007, meals have been served café style allowing guests and volunteers to mingle and enjoy life together through stories, laughs, sometimes tears, and often a hug. The kitchen is fully supported through gifts from area residents, businesses, and grocery partners. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the method by which meals are provided, the spirit of community and cohesiveness despite race or creed persists and has allowed the organization to meet the incredible spike in need. Angels & Sparrows provided 213,627 meals in 2020, a 73% increase from 2019. For more information, visit www.angelsandsparrows.org.
Huntersville, N.C., January 4, 2021 – Angels & Sparrows Soup Kitchen hosted its annual Christmas Party for Kids on Friday, December 18, 2020. The ticketed event, sponsored by COVIA Corp., was exclusively for the children of families who visit the soup kitchen on a regular basis. One hundred and eight-five children attended the party. Each child received three gifts, in addition to a stuffed animal, book, holiday portrait, and take-home meal from Tenders Fresh Food.
"At a time when families have scrambled to meet basic needs and children were facing the possibility of no gifts to open Christmas morning, COVIA Corp. enabled Angels & Sparrows to bring much needed smiles to children in need in our community. COVIA's generosity embodies what Angels & Sparrows is all about, seeking not only to nourish the body with dignity, but looking beyond physical nourishment to other ways a community can show love and care for our neighbors in need. We are grateful for their partnership in serving our guests with dignity."
The Marines' “Toys For Tots” Program provided the bulk of toys needed for the event. Toys were also donated by Amazon, as well as students at Lake Norman Charter School, and individual donors who purchased toys from Angels & Sparrows' Amazon Wish List. COVIA provided the funding needed for food, decorations, photography, treat bags. Volunteers served as personal shoppers and assisted with set-up and tear-down of the event. The number of people allowed in the building for the event was limited to allow for safety protocols and proper social distancing for guests and volunteers.
About Angels & Sparrows
Angels & Sparrows provides a community table for guests to enjoy a free, nutritious meal five days a week without requiring proof of need. Since 2007, meals have been served café style allowing guests and volunteers to mingle and enjoy life together through stories, laughs, sometimes tears, and often a hug. The kitchen is fully supported through gifts from area residents, businesses, and grocery partners. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the method by which meals are provided, the spirit of community and cohesiveness despite race or creed persists and has allowed the organization to meet the incredible spike in need. Angels & Sparrows provided 213,627 meals in 2020, a 73% increase from 2019. For more information, visit angelsandsparrows.org.
About COVIA Corp.
COVIA is a leading provider of diversified mineral solutions to the oil and gas, glass, ceramics, coatings, metals, foundry, polymers, construction, water filtration, sports and recreation markets. The Company serves its Industrial customers through a broad array of high-quality products, including high-purity silica sand, nepheline syenite, feldspar, clay, kaolin, resin systems and coated materials, delivered through its comprehensive distribution network. COVIA offers its Energy customers an unparalleled selection of proppant solutions, additives, and coated products to enhance well productivity and to address both surface and down-hole challenges in all well environments. COVIA has built long-standing relationships with a broad customer base consisting of blue-chip customers. Underpinning these strengths is an unwavering commitment to safety and to sustainable development, further enhancing the value that COVIA delivers to all of its stakeholders. For more information, visit CoviaCorp.com.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Director of Development, Angels & Sparrows
Director of Corporate Affairs, I-77 Mobility Partners
WHITE SUMMIT CAPITAL SUPPORTS ANGELS & SPARROWS’ ONGOING COVID-19 RESPONSE
As impacts of pandemic persist, I-77 Express investor White Summit Capital AG contributes $15,000 to Angels & Sparrows soup kitchen in support of local community.
Charlotte, N.C., September 1, 2020 – Angels & Sparrows announced today White Summit Capital AG (WSC), an investor in I-77 Express, has contributed $15,000 to provide meals and nourishment to those in Huntersville and surrounding communities. The economic impact of the pandemic has left families in difficult financial circumstances, in many cases facing food insecurity as they see income decrease or eliminated. As a result, Angels & Sparrows has experienced an unprecedented 91 percent increase in the needs of existing guests and a surge of new guests over the last several months.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Angels & Sparrows has provided more than a combined 72,508 meals through its emergency food pantry and soup kitchen. Over 15 weeks, the organization has pivoted from café-style meals to providing drive-through service and delivery food options for homebound seniors or families without transportation. The nonprofit has also mobilized volunteers who check-in with guests to ensure their needs are being met.
“At this time of crisis, when the understandable impulse would be to turn inward and focus on the needs of your own family, we are instead seeing our community and businesses look outward to help their neighbors in need. Our guests feel the embrace of our donors through the phone calls, meals and groceries we are able to provide because of their generosity,” explained Jessika Tucker, Executive Director of Angels and Sparrows. "We are grateful to White Summit Capital for their gift. Their generosity ensures we can continue to meet the increase in need we are experiencing because of the current health crisis."
WSC is an investor and asset manager in the global infrastructure and energy sectors. Locally, WSC serves as an investment partner in the I-77 Express project providing enhanced connectivity through the Lake Norman region between Charlotte and Mooresville, NC.
“White Summit Capital brings a partnership-based strategy to our portfolio and our support of coronavirus response efforts in communities like Huntersville,” said Stefan Kreher, Chief Operating Officer of White Summit Capital. “Our partnership in I-77 Express means we, alongside I-77 Mobility Partners and Ferrovial, are committed to the vibrant communities along this corridor. We are proud to partner with Angels & Sparrows to provide nourishment and foundational support to families in this time of great need locally and around the world.”
About Angels & Sparrows
Angels & Sparrows provides a community table for guests to enjoy a free, nutritious meal five days a week without requiring proof of need. Since 2007, meals have been served café style allowing guests and volunteers to mingle and enjoy life together through stories, laughs, sometimes tears, and often a hug. The kitchen is fully supported through gifts from area residents, businesses, and grocery partners and receives no government funding. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the method by which meals are provided, the spirit of community and cohesiveness despite race or creed persists and has allowed the organization to meet the incredible spike in need.
About White Summit Capital
WSC is a long-term investor and asset manager specialized in the infrastructure and energy sectors, with over €1.4 billion of managed infrastructure investments to date. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, WSC has offices in Madrid, London, and Mexico City with a total of 18 operational and transactional professionals.
About I-77 Mobility Partners
I-77 Mobility Partners LLC is financing, developing, designing, constructing, operating and maintaining the 26-mile I-77 Express corridor as part of the first-ever public-private partnership with the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
A lot has changed at Angels and Sparrows since the COVID-19 crisis hit our community and Governor Cooper announced the Stay at Home order effective March 30th.
Angels and Sparrows immediately experienced a surge in the number of guests in need. Some who only needed our services occasionally, suddenly needed us daily. Initially, families arrived with wary expressions on their faces while children screamed gleefully in their cars at the prospect of staying home from school. This quickly changed to long lines of cars with parents anxiously awaiting their meals and children quietly observing the discussions between their parents and our staff regarding needs which ranged from groceries, to gas money, and more recently the fear of not being able to catch-up paying for rent - and the potential for eviction. New families experiencing loss of hours at work, furlough, or unemployment for the first time, joined those who already depended on us to make ends meet.
Our process changed too. We were forced to modify how we serve our guests from café style to a drive-up format to accommodate the need for social distancing and the tremendous increase in numbers being served. We began delivering meals and groceries to our at-risk, homebound seniors. We noticed more families carpooling, households consolidating to help reserve the little funds left, and the need for home delivery began to include not only homebound seniors, but also families who lost access to transportation due to the inability to pay for gas or bus fare.
However, here’s what did not change. YOU, the community stepped up as you always have when you heard our resources had been depleted by the surge in need and our necessity to pivot and provide more food than ever. Your families came early in the morning or joined the long lines of those receiving meals to drop off groceries – many of which were used the very day you dropped them off. Still more of you donated online, allowing us to fill the gaps among the food received and what we still needed.
And, here’s something else that did not change – the love and care with which we serve our guests. A command center of volunteers who could no longer serve in person due to health risks began calling guests at home to check on them. New volunteers joined our team to help us sort food, put together boxes of groceries, or hand out meals – sometimes in the blistering heat and lately in the pouring rain. YOU, the community, are the heroes who enable us to show our neighbors in need that we not only care, but we care deeply.
Your donations enabled us to handle a 91% surge in need compared to last year and since the beginning of the crisis through June, we were able to provide the following:
And, we keep progressing. You see, the calls we made that first week didn’t stop. They have continued now each week for 15 weeks in a row. This has allowed us to remain in constant contact with our guests and hear how they are being impacted by this crisis, and to take the necessary steps to provide further assistance. We are inculcating the new families into our family and showing them how this community cares. Calls that were initially brief check-ins have evolved into lengthy discussions celebrating triumphs, such as when a new baby is born, or providing comfort when a guest shares with us that they’ve lost a family member to COVID-19.
Our guests have expressed their gratitude in a myriad of ways, from sending thank you cards, letters, and artwork created by their children to sharing homemade cakes and pies they’ve baked for our volunteers. Each note or letter we receive expresses gratitude for the impact our work has made on their family.
So, to the community, we say THANK YOU! You are the heroes on the front lines doing anything you can for those whose lives have been devastated by this unprecedented crisis. Our guests feel your embrace at a time when they need it the most.
Our work is not done. The needs have not diminished and the number of families who need meals and groceries continues to grow. Even though the Stay at Home order has been relaxed, many of our guests who work in the accommodations and food services industry continue to experience few hours, if they have been able to find work at all. They are still struggling to provide for their families.
Here is what you can do to continue to cushion the blow these families are experiencing:
Angels and Sparrows
At Angels and Sparrows, we strive to be good stewards of the resources given to us and the most precious of those includes YOU, the community. You consistently support us with your time and donations and most recently, this has been amidst the COVID-19 crisis. We appreciate the outpouring of support and donations you have provided to us and it has been absolutely needed!
We recognize and appreciate these donations come at a cost to your family in order to support other families in need, so we want to keep you informed about our continued operations in light of the Stay at Home Order issued by Mecklenburg County yesterday. As our guests will attest, we are considered an Essential Business and, therefore, are permitted to continue operations. In fact, our services will be needed now more than ever. This means travel to and from our establishment to drop-off donations is permitted as well.
There were significant changes to our culture and operations last week as we adapted to the need for social distancing and we learned a lot through this process. One thing we noticed is a tremendous increase in the need for our services. In fact, we experienced a 42% increase in the number of meals provided in just one week! Our peak day was an 86% increase. Many guests who only visit occasionally, showed up each day seeking help. Several conveyed they were scrambling to provide for their families while grappling with fewer hours at work or facing complete layoffs.
Meanwhile, donations from our grocery partners diminished. In response, we quickly emptied many of our pantry items typically reserved for meal preparation to alleviate some of the stress our guests were experiencing. Your generous donations were also used immediately as emergency grocery items for our guests or in our kitchen to meet the increased demand for meals.
While this crisis continues to be distressing for everyone, we expect our community will continue to experience the after-effects of COVID-19 for a long time and have re-strategized how we will continue providing meals with limited resources and increased demand.
Angels and Sparrows intends to remain the valuable resource we have always been in the community. We recognize we will simply have to show we care by using other methods. A new approach we have already implemented is making phone calls to our guests to check on their wellbeing and ascertain special needs. This has been well received and many have acknowledged feeling lonely, isolated, and missing the spirit of community usually experienced together at Angels and Sparrows. We won’t allow our culture to diminish during this crisis and we expect programs and partnerships will emerge and evolve as we continue to address the needs of our community.
Please continue to bring your donations to the kitchen. Hours for food donation drop-off next week will be Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 10:30. We ask that you please honor these hours so we can move guest vehicles in and out of the parking lot safely during service hours. Monetary donations are greatly appreciated because they allow us to fill in the gaps in needs versus supplies. We will keep our website and social media updated as our needs change with the increased demand.
You remain a vital part of our mission and we appreciate your continued support of Angels and Sparrows. Please feel free to reach out to me directly with any questions or concerns.
Angels and Sparrows Soup Kitchen