Yakima Valley Partners for Education combat food insecurity

Photo Credit: Yakima Valley Partners for Education

YAKIMA, Wash. — The Yakima Valley Partners for Education (YVPE) received $34,000 in grants to combat increasing food insecurity in the region.

A collective impact initiative of the Heritage University, the Yakima Valley Partners for Education will feed 90 families in the Wapato and Sunnyside regions using these grants.

The Director of Catholic Charities Housing Services, Bryan Ketcham, knows firsthand how positively these generous donations will impact those in need.

“During this time of the year and with the current pandemic we have seen a significant increase in the level of need amongst our residents,” Ketcham said. “Paying for their rent, utilities and access to food and other emergency services have been among the highest of priorities and needs that our staff has been helping our residents to access. We are grateful for YVPE’s generosity.”

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The Save the Children Fund provided a $15,000 grant for the YVPE to distribute amongst community members. Their grant was matched by another gracious donation from the Latino Community Fund.

Fiesta Foods and Washington Broadband’s Forbes Mercy also contributed supplies and monetary aid of their own. This lump sum will be put toward grocery gift cards so that underprivileged families can fill their refrigerators without fear.

For the Latino Community Fund program director Micaela Razo, the organization’s work is a direct response to the need she finds in the community.

“We continue to hear the need and work effectively to network with multiple organizations, school districts and businesses to bring relief to the families in need,” Razo said. “Our goal is to make sure we can be a beacon of light in time of darkness to our community. Together we can do more for each other.”

Grocery card distribution began in December — Just in time for the holidays. The initiative will continue through the month of January until supplies run out. However, the giving spirit is only just beginning with Washingtonians banding together to combat food insecurity and many other issues amplified by the pandemic.

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