It’s hard to feel grateful for what you have when times are hard, much less during an event impacting the whole world as we are experiencing right now. When the news outlets are depressing, social media is flooded with speculation and politicians vying for your vote, and you are starting to feel trapped inside your house, it can be difficult to appreciate what you have and find the silver linings.
Speaking for myself, there are several silver linings I have been able to hold fast to, one of which (as cheesy as it may sound), is my work family at Feathr. Having worked at Feathr for the past two and a half years, I have had the privilege of watching and participating in the growth of our Flock from around thirty strong to a small army of ninety.
I know some of us worried, towards the start of our growth spurt, that we might lose that ‘family feel’ along the way in this quick expansion. Leadership always stressed, however, this core concept that helped make Feathr the company it was and is today: Feathr looks for culture adds, not culture fits. We understood from the start that, in order to truly grow and develop as a well-rounded company and keep our company culture rich, we could not simply hire cookie-cutter versions of the same people we had just because we love them.
They say that you find out who a person really is during times of crisis, and I couldn’t be more proud and impressed by how my fellow Feathren have risen to the occasion over the past month. The emails that continued flooding my inbox started to carry the same theme: What are we doing to help local businesses? What more can I do to help? What more can we do to help? Suggestions, inspirations, requests for brainstorming sessions, there were so many incredible ideas and charities brought to our attention.
After some discussion, we decided the most impactful thing we could do as a company during this time was to donate to a local organization called Working Food, who has teamed up with the incredible team at the Community Foundation of North central Florida which hosts the The Amazing Give to help address what our community needs in this time of crisis.
“Working Food works on building local food access from seed to plate,” explained Anna Prizzia, the President of the Board for Working Foods. “We take a systems-based approach, and have three core programs which include [the] Southern Heritage Seed Collective, Youth Gardening, and Culinary Incubator.”
Now, of course, the climate of safety and community needs have shifted, and Anna’s team has adapted quickly to help. “With the onset of the Covid-19, we have had to put these programs on hold, and have shifted our focus to emergency food access and ensuring safe access to local food options.” Anna explained, “For this, we are providing three critical services - a drive-through farmers market pick up, an online seed store, and our Working Food Relief meal program, which is harnessing local entrepreneurs and restaurants, and locally grown food to provide meals for those in need.”
“So far all three of these efforts have been a huge success.” Anna shared, “Our drive-through market is serving approximately 450 people a week, we are serving nearly 1200 meals to individuals in need per week, and our seed sales and garden informational support is at an all-time high in demand.”
“Thanks to the support from Feathr, other community partners, and individuals through our Amazing Give Campaign, Working Food is able to keep these efforts going while we plan for the future of these and our regular programs once we are able to connect directly with community again.”
"The stories of our local organizations rising to meet the needs of their clients are both inspiring and sobering when we reflect on how they are serving the most vulnerable in our community while also being impacted,” says Barzella Papa, President and CEO of The Community Foundation of North Central Florida. “The Amazing Give Emergency Relief initiative provides a platform to those that have the capacity to provide support to the nonprofit sector which in turn allows vital programs and services to continue in our community. We are fortunate to live in a community where people and organizations, like Feathr, support one another and the generosity shines through."
We encourage all who are able to find ways to help out in their community - and I cannot emphasize that no donation is too small or insignificant.
For more information on Working Food’s Covid-19 efforts, visit https://workingfood.org/covid-local-food-response/, and to donate visit: https://www.theamazinggive.org/organizations/working-food !