Staff, students, volunteers have been collecting, delivering food since April
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) - When the pandemic shut down schools in March, the staff and students at Redmond Proficiency Academy began helping those in need.
Direct Student Services Coordinator Hilary Kirk said they felt that they needed to help out the kids of their community.
“The essential items -- there’s really no way to express how much important that is, to ensure that people have their basic needs met,” she said Thursday.
Kirk, a social worker at the school, explained just how important these items are for kids' mental health.
“People aren’t able to focus on even starting to address things like depression or anxiety until things like food anxiety, housing needs, and things like that are met,” Kirk said. “People need to feel safe and have what they need to survive, and from there we can kind of move up higher into the category of addressing different social, emotional needs.”
RPA staff, students and volunteers began using the empty school building to package, assemble and distribute food and resource boxes.
The boxes include food, cleaning supplies and other necessary household items
The Redmond Cares program has provided over 1,000 of these boxes to the community, serving 28,000 meals and 4,400 individuals.
Jon Bullock, executive director of RPA, said they just want to be there for the community.
“We’ve said that since the beginning the only way to get through this is to do it together," he said. "And this is RPA’s commitment to that, trying to make sure we can be a part of getting through this together.”
Bullock said they benefited from over 100 hours of community service volunteers preparing boxes.
With in-person instruction set to return soon, the Redmond Cares Program will send out their final deliveries this Friday.
Though the program is ending, some staff plan to continue a backpack service for children in need of these essential items after classes resume.