At the same time, the economic downturn and interruptions to postsecondary education and the workforce resulting from the pandemic have left many young people in need of meaningful opportunities in the coming year:
The Schultz Family Foundation has partnered with Serve Washington to develop the WA COVID Response Corps, a first-of-its-kind program created in response to the pandemic combining resources from federal and state government with private philanthropy. The program is designed to increase the capacity of local non-profits working to address the food insecurity crisis, while also creating service opportunities for young people from diverse ethnic and financial backgrounds.
From now until June, 125 AmeriCorps members between the ages of 17-25 will be deployed to assist community non-profits focused on alleviating food insecurity in Washington State.
By supporting food packing and distribution at food banks, managing and serving in meal distribution sites at schools, providing food access to vulnerable populations, and growing and gleaning fresh fruits and vegetables in community gardens for foodbanks, Response Corps members will help keep our most vulnerable neighbors fed and healthy during these difficult times.
In the first four months of the program, Response Corps members collectively:
Learn more about the corps members’ impact on the community.
As the pandemic continues to disrupt the lives of so many, the Schultz Family Foundation is eager to build on the program insights, replicate the model, and accelerate change to help even more communities in need.
In partnership with Serve Washington and Service Year Alliance, the Schultz Family Foundation published a report providing an overview of the program and detailing early learnings.
By releasing this report, the goal is to spark conversations about expanding this innovative public-private model to additional states as officials deploy $1 billion in new funding for national service.
Download the full report here.
Recognizing the role of philanthropy as an innovation partner to the public sector, the Schultz Family Foundation is launching the $1 Million National Service Challenge to support national service as a pathway of opportunity for all young people. The Foundation will offer matching grants of $100,000 to $250,000 to AmeriCorps state service commissions who are partnering with philanthropy to improve racial, ethnic, and income representation within AmeriCorps programs, and strengthen support for youth Corps members before, during, and after national service.
"The biggest challenges our clients are facing with the pandemic is having enough access to food, and especially in low-income populations, people losing jobs, stimulus checks not coming in, I think it's really important that people are getting their basic needs met." - Rebecca B., WA COVID Response Corps member.
Meet more corps members:
Serve Washington, a State Commission, advances national service, volunteerism and civic engagement to improve lives; expands opportunity to meet the local critical needs of residents of Washington; and strengthens community capacity while creating healthy and resilient communities. Authorized by Executive Order #16-08, a 20-member board of Governor-appointed commissioners supports and advises Serve Washington. Learn more at servewashington.wa.gov.
This AmeriCorps funding is provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency for volunteering, civic engagement, and national service programs. For over 25 years, more than 1 million dedicated Americans have joined AmeriCorps and pledged to ‘get things done.’ This year, the 75,000 AmeriCorps members serving in schools, nonprofits, community and faith-based organizations, will do the same as they rebuild communities, support veterans, fight the opioid epidemic, prepare students for success, foster economic opportunity, and more. Those interested in serving can learn more at AmeriCorps.gov/Join.