Late in the afternoon on Christmas Eve, FarmersWagon.org delivered all of the ingredients for a traditional Christmas Dinner and $400 in gift cards to a family on Woodsedge Drive. The next afternoon, the nonprofit surprised an additional 60 households throughout the Eastern Shore with free food vouchers equaling $3,000 in total value. As the vouchers are redeemed, local food producers affiliated with the organization will also find themselves benefiting from FarmersWagon.org’s back-to-back surprises.
“Fortunately there are a lot of organizations and businesses that offer giving programs during the holiday season. So most of our Care Package members were able to receive support through one or more of those programs. That allowed us to focus on our members who weren’t eligible for other programs or may have missed deadlines to apply for help,” said Lyle Pinder, Executive Director of FarmersWagon.org. “Which was the case with the family we sponsored this Christmas.” The head of the household, who requested to remain anonymous, recently assumed custody of her four grandchildren and was unable to provide a meal and gifts for Christmas. “It was the week before Christmas and she missed other organizations’ deadlines to be paired with a sponsor family because she only assumed custody of her grandchildren a day or two earlier. Our amazing Board of Directors unanimously approved the funds to source ingredients for a full meal and suggested we reach out to top donors for additional support to fund the purchase of gift cards for the family,” Pinder explained. In less than 24 hours, funding reached $400. The money paid for gift cards to stores where the grandchildren could purchase winter coats, clothing, and items needed for virtual learning.
Sponsoring the family on Woodsedge Drive was an add-on to the nonprofit’s original plan to surprise 60 households on Christmas Day with free vouchers that could be redeemed for fresh foods from local food producers and farmers’ market vendors. Each household that received the early morning email notifying them of their benefits, is a current member of the nonprofit’s Care Package Program which provides regular food benefits to food-insecure households. The vouchers were paid for, in part, by a recent grant from Mid-Shore Community Foundation.
The vouchers will be redeemed through FarmersWagon.org’s online farmers’ market platform and delivered by Pinder and the other members of the nonprofit’s volunteer delivery team. All of the products listed on FarmersWagon.org are sourced from local food producers on the Eastern Shore. The online farmers’ market also provides its farm-to-door delivery services to retail customers with 70% of its proceeds going to support food-insecure households in FarmersWagon.org’s service area.
To learn more about FarmersWagon.org or its Care Package Program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (443)333-9336.