A REAP Update Regarding Coronavirus

Dear REAP members and supporters,

Well, it’s really been a wild ride these last few days. Our staff has been doing what we can to get organized, keep positive and learn where all the dead Wi-Fi spots in our homes are (there are a lot of them).

We are also hard at work figuring out how to best serve those we always have: families who are vulnerable to food insecurity in our community, farmers and producers who grow good food, and the mission-driven businesses that support them.

Our mission to make good food, grown well, accessible to all is as relevant and timely as ever.

One thing is clear, even at this point: it is not business as usual. Much of our primary work has been altered or disrupted temporarily and we are focused on keeping staff safe and supported during this health emergency. To that end, our office is closed, all staff are working remotely from home, and meetings are attended virtually.

As a staff and board, we are putting our heads together to identify food security needs arising in the community and how we can be a good partner and put our resources towards these solutions:

REAP will use our social media channels to amplify the needs of our schools and Atlas partners (farms, producers, and businesses), and identify ways you can help. This will include supporting local businesses and farmers, and calls to your elected officials to voice your support for policy alleviations. At a time of feeling helpless to a global pandemic there remains a lot we can do individually and that will have a real impact on our neighbors and small businesses.

We will build more digital Farm to School resources. Families are looking for content for their kids at home and learning opportunities. 

We continue to plan for the good work that will come on the other side of this current disruption. There will be an “other side” to this and we will be ready to engage in the important work of increasing access to good food, strengthening community partnerships, and elevating community-led solutions to build the just, sustainable food system we all believe in. 

Make sure you’re following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to hear how you can take action, and continue your support of honest, good food and mission-based businesses. Expect updates on these projects:

  • With MMSD schools closed indefinitely, our AmeriCorps members Madison Soukup and Rachel Leibovich are working to orient their capacities in different ways to continue to support our schools, kids, and community. This is likely to include developing online resources and education for families to access from home. It might also mean assisting in emergency food relief or meal distribution in our community. Look for more info from us about this by next week.
  • Burgers and Brew 2020, originally planned for June 6, is on hiatus while we monitor the coronavirus situation.

Consider a gift to REAP to keep us steady through a very tumultuous time.

In times of crisis, we hold on to the radical practice of hope and invite you to join us.

Yours truly,
Helen Sarakinos
Executive Director

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