Feeding more families and individuals in need: Anonymous donor offers ‘fund the freezer’ grant match challenge to Hospitality House
When an individual, who wished to remain anonymous, learned that Hospitality House’s food costs tripled as a result of the pandemic, this individual granted Hospitality House $5,000 toward the purchase of a larger commercial freezer/cooler combo. With this grant also came a challenge to raise the remaining balance. The freezer will increase the shelter’s ability to accept food donations, purchase in bulk to reduce costs, and in turn, feed more homeless men, women, children, seniors and Veterans.
Feeding more people has been a critical task throughout the pandemic and at their peak thus far, Hospitality House was providing 300 meals a day and doing so with little to no storage capacity.
“Hospitality House continues to respond to a major need that we do not expect to slow down in the next two years,” explained Nancy Baglietto, executive director at Hospitality House. “We already have a commercial kitchen at Utah’s Place and a successful culinary job training program, so who better prepared to step up and help feed more people than us? Sustaining hundreds of meals a day without storage is unheard of, but we’re doing it. The addition of a walk-in freezer will streamline and expand our services further.”
With $5,000 received to kickstart the “Fund the Freezer” campaign, Hospitality House is turning to the community for help in raising the remaining balance needed of $12,950 to meet the donor’s grant match challenge. Total cost of the freezer/cooler combo with tax and installation is estimated at $17,950.
As the pandemic continues with no slowing in sight, more locals are finding themselves not only housing insecure but hungry. At Hospitality House, the need to respond with more food and emergency shelter continues to climb. The single overnight shelter shifted into a 24/7 operation in response to the pandemic back in March, expanding into motels around town to help more people and to follow social distancing best practices (a task completed in close collaboration with County of Nevada, FREED Center for Independent Living, Turning Point Community Programs and Spirit Peer Empowerment Center).
On top of a 24-hour expansion, in order to best protect the people they serve and to follow safety guidelines set forth by Nevada County Public Health, the shelter is operating without its 300+ volunteers, which drastically impacts its food operations. Prior to the pandemic, volunteer cook groups would come to the shelter six nights a week with their own donated food and cook for homeless guests. The volunteers continue to donate food and financial support as they can, but food preparation has fully become a staff-driven function with the added challenge of safe food delivery to multiple motels around town. The community can help lessen the burden by helping Hospitality House meet the grant match challenge, which comes at a most opportune time as the shelter’s only fridge is on the brink of breaking, having been repaired multiple times in recent months.
“This campaign is more than just a freezer — it’s about real people,” said Ashley Quadros, development director at Hospitality House. “It ensures when someone shows up on our doorsteps, hungry, dehydrated and feeling defeated, we’re there for them and giving them not only shelter, but the nutrition and fuel needed to return to permanent housing.”
Hospitality House has a goal to raise the remaining funding needed within three weeks — by Sept. 15. To support this “Fund the Freezer” capital campaign and help Hospitality House acquire its much needed freezer, community members are invited to donate at hhshelter.org and write “freezer” in the comments section, or mail a check addressed to Hospitality House at 1262 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, CA 95945, and write “freezer” in the memo section. Donations may also be made over the phone by calling 530-615-0852.
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