One of our benefits is that we are, and hope to remain, a very nimble organization that can respond to the immediate and long-term needs of our community” says Kia Baker, Executive Director of the Southeast Raleigh Promise. Food security has been a major issue since the closures of schools. The organization has partnered with organizations like the Interfaith Food Shuttle, Incredible Ladies United, and many more over the past month to provide more than 40,000 pounds of food to hundreds of families in Southeast Raleigh. This is in addition to delivering food to the families of Southeast Raleigh Elementary students every week. While meeting the immediate needs of families hardest hit by the economic reverberations of the pandemic, poverty alleviating organizations also must be thinking about the long-term.
“We’re all adjusting to our new norm. I know each week I am getting better and learning with the families” says Suquey Castillo-Lopez, bilingual Intake Coordinator for the Durham’s Children’s Initiative (DCI). In addition to making sure DCI families’ immediate needs of housing and food are being met, DCI is dedicated to making sure that their young learners don’t fall behind academically.
They moved quickly to get Story Hour Live, their weekly bilingual arts and literacy program, online to Facebook. Even though it has been a technical challenge, DCI is seeing better and deeper engagement especially because parents can re-watch and share videos. “They’ve been learning and adjusting together and hopes this momentum continues when the pandemic is over.”