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I hope you are all well, safe, and staying as sane as possible. Looking back on the month, it seems like ages ago when I was last in my office at FEED HQ. My current “office” has a lot more distractions (aka, adorable, but demanding, toddlers) and as I’m sure other parents are experiencing, working from home with kids is hard. Really, really hard.
On the bright side, it's been so heartening to see the way people are coming together virtually – on Instagram, on google hangouts, on Facetime – to support each other, support local businesses and restaurants, and share resources, everything from recipes to organizations that need our support.
Right now, the cause that's at the heart of everything that we do – feeding children and families – is even more critical. It's been incredible to see so many individuals and brands rallying around the issue of hunger and supporting organizations like No Kid Hungry and local food banks who are working to ensure that the most vulnerable members of our society still have access to the food they need.
I keep coming back to this quote by Mr. Rogers – "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'" I am so in awe of, and thankful for, the helpers in this moment – our doctors and healthcare workers, grocery store clerks, food bank employees and volunteers, sanitation workers, truck drivers, and the millions of people who are going above and beyond for their fellow neighbors, in big ways and small.
As with everything, this too shall pass, but for now, let’s stay connected (virtually) and stay optimistic. If you’d like to chat, we’re here 24/7 on Instagram, Facebook, email, snail mail, etc.
Talk to you very soon.
Here are a few things I've been loving and living in, this past month:
In case you missed it, FEED is matching all donations at checkout right now, to benefit No Kid Hungry. They are working tirelessly to ensure the nearly 22 million students who rely on free or reduced-price lunches, still have access to food, so their work is more important now than ever.
We also hosted an incredible dinner with our friends at Bumble (one of the last in-person gatherings we were able to squeeze in), for Women's Month. In a room full of incredible women at 1Hotels' beautiful restaurant, The Osprey, we gathered to pack hygiene kits for women in need. We ended up packing over 50 kits in FEED totes, plus donating boxes of diapers, tampons and pads, to the Food Bank for NYC's Woman to Woman initiative. These kits are always needed, but we had no idea just how timely these donations would turn out to be.
Right now I'm not carrying too many bags, since I'm staying put inside, but for any quick errands I've been reaching for the Packable Zip Tote. I keep one in my car too and grab it whenever I need it.
Besides stocking up on food for my family (which I feel so grateful to be able to do), my heart has been pulled to support boutiques and restaurants impacted by closures. As a shopkeeper myself, I know how hard it is to shut your doors and halt business. If you can, buy a gift certificate for your favorite local restaurant or shop small boutiques and brands online. Depending on where you live, some of my favorites (many of them also women-owned) are – Front General Store, Midland, Dear Society, Lingua Franca, the list goes on and on. For another way to help restaurants, check out Save Local Restaurants, powered by the Independent Restaurant Coalition, to help keep restaurants and their workers afloat during and after COVID-19.
Friends of FEED
I know it's been a little overshadowed, but March is Women's History Month and to commemorate IWD, we launched a very special handmade collection with Monica Singh, to raise awareness for gendered violence. There are just a few bags left, don’t miss out.
Also, check out her Q&A on the blog to read all about her life and work as a survivor, activist and designer.
Reading or watching
I’ve been reading "Upstream," essays by Mary Oliver, and "Writers & Lovers," by Lily King. I’ve also been watching the very timely show, "Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak," on Netflix.
Something big (literally) is launching on Monday. Sign up for the waitlist to shop the Oversized Market Tote before everyone else.
Ask Lauren – What advice do you have for other young women interested in philanthropy? – Jackie
My advice for any young person – male or female – interested in philanthropy is to start with some soul-searching to determine what issue (or issues) you feel personally passionate about. Then, figure out what part of philanthropy interests you most – programming, awareness raising, fundraising, etc. The magic lies in being able to combine your own personal talents, interests, and resources with the cause you are most passionate about. Striving to make the world a better place or to lessen the suffering of others is always a noble calling – there are both big and small ways you can get involved right away.