Dear ACO Friends and Supporters,
CRAZY, BUSY, CHALLENGING & AWESOME….
The last 2 weeks since I sent out an update have been all of the above. As our staff have adapted to new processes to deliver services, and food -LOTS OF FOOD- we have done our best to serve the ever growing number of families reaching out to ACO for assistance while keeping safe distances and practicing constant disinfecting and cleaning.
It has been crazy and busy as we’ve kept up with increasing phone calls and new families asking for food pantry assistance. We are assisting with rent, utility payments, medical and other critical financial needs. Families are scared. The unknown is hard to plan for. We are doing our best to counsel and guide these folks through the process and ease fears.
This past Wednesday we took our mobile food pantry to the Branch Fire Station and served 128 families who drove through one car at a time to receive bags of groceries and a frozen ham- just in time for Easter! Our staff is managing the traffic through our pantry on Main Street, constantly sacking groceries for an easy and quick curbside distribution. In the past 2 weeks we’ve given out 25,053 lbs of food. Yes, that’s been challenging! But we aren’t slowing down. We are counting on continued food donations and financial gifts to support our food pantry.
The support we’ve received from the community has been awesome! Your kindness, your caring words, and your concern for our staff has been amazing. As donations have come in, so have sweet notes of encouragement and appreciative emails to thank us for our service. Your awesomeness is what is keeping us going! THANK YOU WITH ALL OF MY HEART! But please, don’t quit…
NOW IS THE TIME to help us feed hungry kids. We need food and funds!
Each summer we provide hundreds of local students with breakfast and lunch foods to get them through the hot summer days at home when they don’t receive those meals offered at school. Summer is coming early this year and we need to be prepared. We hope to begin our ACO KIDS SUMMER FOOD program in early May to supplement what they have, but we need the food and funds to be able to do so.
Thankfully our Allen ISD and other local districts are providing meals for pick up while school is still in session remotely. But many families need more and that need will grow as summer approaches. I have a TOP 10 List of Items we need to take care of our kids. Donations are accepted at the ACO Food Pantry, 801 E. Main Street in Allen. There is a drop box for your safety and convenience!
TOP 10- NEEDS FOR ACO KIDS SUMMER FOOD:
- Canned Soups- Chicken Noodle, Tomato, Alphabet
- Canned Pastas- Ravioli, Spaghettios, Lasagna
- Canned Meats- Chicken, Tuna
- Jellies- Grape, Strawberry (We have the peanut butter!)
- Fruit Cups/ Snack Packs
- Fast Food Restaurant Gift Cards
- Paper Towels/ Toilet Tissue
- Toothbrushes/ Toothpaste
- Kids Soaps and Shampoos
- Hand Sanitizer/ Wipes
If you aren’t out shopping for your own essentials but would like to help us feed hungry kids this summer, please consider an online donation.
$50 will help us feed a child for 2 weeks with easy to prepare, kid-friendly foods and basic necessities. $250 will prevent hunger all summer for a local child, ages 1-16. Donating is easy, by clicking the link below. AND- we’ve fixed our issues with our mobile donation app so you can give right from your phone!
One more thing….. Reminder that our resale operations are currently closed to comply with local guidelines and the safety of our community. The stores are closed and our donation drop off is not accepting used household items at this time.
WHAT THAT MEANS? ACO does not have that income that is generated to support programs. Our stores fund thousands of dollars each month to support emergency services, education and employment programs, medical and prescription support, and the staff and operating costs to serve our community. This makes your financial gifts at this time even more vital.
I am so grateful for the Collin County generosity and caring spirit and touched by the outpouring of support for our mission. Thank you for your kindness and for sharing what you have with those who need it most.
Financial gifts may be made online at www.ACOCARES.ORG, or mailed to ACO, 801 E. Main Street, Allen TX 75002.
Finally, please remember that Allen Community Outreach supports families all across Collin County, not just Allen. We aren’t only Allen Community Outreach, we are ALL COMMUNITY OUTREACH!
Please stay safe, stay home, and stay kind!
Many, many thanks,