Every day, FUTEK employees who are still working out of our headquarters see a long line of cars outside snaking around the block. That traffic is the result of the drive-thru food distribution set up by Families Forward, our wonderful neighbor who has been supporting local families since 1984. For the past couple of months, the organization has worked hard to ramp up its services to reach the huge swell of families who are in dire needs of basic goods like food and diapers. But, they're not alone. "One of the things that has been very uplifting is the response from the Irvine community. People show up with donations of food every single day," says Sarah Stokes, Families Forward's Grants and Communication Manager, "It's so good to know that people really see the huge need right now and that they want to do what they can to help."
Since March 16, Families Forward has provided food assistance to 4,445 families – that's more than 20,000 individuals. To put this number into perspective, for the entire month of February, Families Forward provided food assistance to a total of 241 families. The organization has also provided housing to 35 families (under normal circumstances the monthly goal is 11). "We couldn't have done this without our community and our community partners," says Michele Silva, Chief Advancement Officer.
FUTEK is proud to be one of those partners, and we intend to be in it for the long haul, because we know that the current economic downturn will affect our city for a while. "In addition to seeing many more families needing assistance, we're also seeing families from different economic levels," says Michele Silva, "Families that have never needed public assistance before are coming to us for help."
But for the short term, there are simple but very effective ways to help this amazing group of people give vital support to our friends and neighbors. The food pantry is almost bare, so donations are urgently needed. Masks and gloves are also in short supply. And of course, financial support is crucial to cover current and future costs. To find out more about how you can help, go to https://www.families-forward.org/.