OIC’s Feeding America – One Community at a Time

The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected marginalized communities around the country, and many OIC affiliates are stepping in to help provide healthy food options and  personal hygiene items to those who need it most. We wanted to share some of the inspirational stories captured and reported on local media through Radio, TV and Print that display OIC’s resilience and commitment to bring relief during this time of crisis.  The below stories cover Montgomery County OIC, ABCCM an Affiliate of OIC, Summit Academy OIC and Chester County OIC.  

Montgomery County OIC — Group in Montgomery County Help Those in Need with Healthy Food Pantry

NORRISTOWN, Pa. – The fallout of the coronavirus has left a crippled economy with millions newly unemployed and that means many are reaching out for help when they normally wouldn’t ask. A group in Montgomery County is now finding a new mission in helping those in need to get through these tough times.

For 52 years, the Montgomery County OIC has been helping residents with career training, job skills and literacy.  But for the first time ever, they have now opened a healthy food pantry for Norristown area families suffering through the coronavirus crisis. 

Watch the video and read more at https://www.fox29.com/news/group-in-montgomery-county-help-those-in-need-with-healthy-food-pantry

ABCCM an Affiliate of OIC — Asheville Restaurant Donates Meals for Veterans

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) — A donation paid forward is helping local veterans eat.

Cultura (a partner organization to ABCCM an affiliate of OIC) was able to prepare and deliver 900 meals over five days, thanks to a donation from U.S. Foods. The restaurant paid it forward to Food Connection, feeding more than 200 veterans housed at ABCCM’s Veterans Restoration Quarters. The organization was also able to feed more than 50 people at Steadfast House a women’s transitional housing facility also run by ABCCM.

Read the article and watch the video at https://wlos.com/news/local/asheville-restaurant-donates-meals-for-veteran

ABCCM an Affiliate of OIC — Asheville Food Pantries Prepare for COVID-19 Impacts

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) ABCCM an Affiliate of OIC — ABCCM officials said they are ready to help the community with shortages.

We are prepared not only to keep up but to expand so we can keep up with the volumes of contributions,” ABCCM Executive Director the Rev. Scott Rogers said.  Rogers said ABCCM is stepping up operations.

Read more and watch the video at https://wlos.com/news/local/asheville-food-pantries-prepare-for-covid-19-impacts

Summit Academy OIC — Minneapolis Community Leaders Find Ways to Fill in Gaps as COVID-19 Disrupts Needed Services

MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) – In parts of the country, the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting some African American and minority communities hard.

Right now, leaders in north Minneapolis are responding to the challenges many are facing during this public health crisis.

“We’re not sitting still, we’re fighting back,” said Summit Academy President Louis King.

Watch the video and read more at https://www.fox9.com/news/minneapolis-community-leaders-find-ways-to-fill-in-gaps-as-covid-19-disrupts-needed-services

Chester County OIC — Provides Hygiene Products During Pandemic May 11 – 22

Like most area nonprofits, the small staff at the Coatesville-based Chester County Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) has been teleworking over the past 2 months to continue serving clients in the COVID-19 crisis. Amid the daily Zoom video meetings and phone calls, they also have been busy securing numerous quality hygiene and wellness supplies to fill 200 Survival Kits for their program participants. 


We are so excited that the Brandywine Health Foundation created the Healthcare & Economic Relief Fund, and enabled us to support our families,”said Joyce Chester, President & CEO. “

Acquiring so many goods has taken weeks,” said Taj Brown, the Program Manager.  “Our initial motivation was to find a way to help our 18 – 24 year old SOAR participants who are on probation or have been in the criminal justice system.  Many of them have very young children and are currently out of work.  Thanks to the Brandywine Health Foundation, we are able to serve them and many others.”  Please read the entire press release here: https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=3003062113093432&set=pcb.2997164573683186

Please join me in recognizing the efforts of the aforementioned Affiliates in “rising to the occasion” in meeting the special needs in their communities during this extraordinary crisis in this country.  These are just some of the efforts we are aware of in meeting the food security challenges due to the unprecedented levels of unemployment.  I would also like to remind the network that both New London OIC and Yakama Valley OIC continue to provide food support as part of their community and program offerings – both organizations have seen a large spike in people seeking food support – we also recognize their efforts in supporting their communities. 

One final point – we did send to each Executive Director information regarding the “USDA Famers To Family Food Box Program” which started shipping last Friday.  However, I’m sorry to say that our submission with our Produce Wholesaler Partner was not accepted.  While disappointed that we didn’t win the bid, I’m proud of how the following Affiliates and their partners stepped up to be part of such a last minute effort – Philadelphia OIC, Chester County OIC, Montgomery County OIC and Bridgeport OIC.

OIC is especially well equipped to help in times of crisis given our longstanding relationships within our respective communities.  Now, more than ever, our communities will need our leadership and support to help them get through this crisis – they know they can count on us!

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