Edina Non-Profits Helping during COVID-19
To meet the needs of individuals and families in the community who have been especially impacted by COVID-19, several Edina non-profits have come together: The Edina Community Foundation and the Meal Fund, supported by the Edina Education Fund and Edina Give and Go.
COVID-19 has increased the demand for supplemental food and put extra stress on The Sheridan Story and VEAP, organizations that typically provide dinners and weekend meals to more than 300 families of Edina students. Recognizing that Edina is largely a community of abundance, community members came together to utilize the Meal Fund to meet the need.
“The food support provided by the school district for breakfast and lunch is amazing, but we have an immediate need for dinner support for students and families. Dinners are not something the school district can pay for. That’s why we need community support to meet this need," said Amy Pampusch Olson, Co-Founder of the Meal Fund.
The Meal Fund, which eases the burden of school meal debt on families in a time of crisis, such as employment instability, illness, death or food insecurity, determined that $75,000 is urgently needed to ensure that no family misses a dinner or weekend meal in Edina.
“We are so grateful to the numerous community members who have asked us where they can help. If you are looking to help students and families in our community with food access, we hope you’ll consider supporting this Fund,” said Olson.
Donations to support dinner and weekend meals for students and Edina families through the Meal Fund can be made at www.edinaedfund.org/s/meal-fund-covid-19. Donations support food, distribution and preparation costs.
To fund grants to meet broader community needs, the Edina Community Foundation has created a Coronavirus Relief Fund. This fund allows residents to make donations to help a broad swath of the community. Funds will be distributed to organizations that are meeting emerging needs in vulnerable populations. The initial grant was made this week to Help at Your Door, a nonprofit serving seniors and individuals with disabilities. Help At Your Door will use the grant to purchase N95 masks for volunteers as they personally deliver food and other essential items to their constituents in need.
“We take heart that while we are subject to social distance restrictions, the residents of Edina have this opportunity to be more connected than ever,” said Dick Crockett, Executive Director of the Edina Community Foundation.
The Coronavirus Relief Fund grew from a request by Mayor James Hovland and State Rep. Heather Edelson to create avenues for residents to help each other.
Donations to support broader community needs through the Coronavirus Relief Fund can be made at edinacommunityfoundation.org or by mailing a check made
payable to the Edina Community Foundation at 5280 Grandview Square, Edina MN 55436. Donors may also give using the Foundation’s Venmo account @EdinaCommunityFoundation-Edina. Please specify “Coronavirus Relief” in your note or memo line so the funds can be channeled appropriately.
For more information about the Meal Fund, contact Kathy Rendleman at 952-848-4222. For more information about the Edina Community Foundation, contact Crockett at 952-833-9573 at edfoundation@EdinaMN.gov.
Edina Community Foundation Committee
Neighborhood leaders in housing, senior advocacy, disability resources, education, faith and the Chamber of Commerce have agreed to serve on the committee that will oversee the distribution of grants. Its members include co-chairs Jon Barnett and Caroline Correia, Maggie McCracken, Hope Melton, Stephanie Zahrbock, Stephanie Pierce, Arnie Bigbee, Shelly Loberg, Rebecca Sorensen, Lori Syverson and Eli Groenendyk.
Edina Meal Fund Response Fund Team
The collaborative group focused on food access for students and families includes school district representation, Edina Meal Fund, Edina Education Fund, Edina Give and Go, Parent Teacher Organization and community member representation. Its members are Carynn Roehrick, Amy Pampusch Olson, Caroline Correia, Karen Gabler, Regina Neville, Kathy Rendleman, Cathy Cella, Maggie McCracken, Sarina Khariwala, Eleni Glerum, Chris Rofidal, Erica Allenburg and Julie Greene.