Coaching Corps is working closely with community partners, school districts and food banks to meet the immediate and ongoing calls for food and basic necessities from families facing hardship
CONTACT: Jessica Scadron, 415-713 9150, firstname.lastname@example.org
OAKLAND, Calif. – April 8, 2020 – Coaching Corps, an organization that normally recruits and trains volunteers to be sports mentors to kids living in low-income communities, is mobilizing its resources in new ways to connect people who want to help during the coronavirus pandemic to immediate volunteer opportunities. For those who may not be able to volunteer, they can make donations to purchase basic necessities families desperately need, such as diapers, formula and hygiene products.
With the closure of schools and afterschool programs, many children and families are unsure where to get their next meal. The majority of children Coaching Corps serves depend on free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs to avoid going hungry. Their parents and caretakers often have jobs that do not offer sick pay or work-from-home options, and must make the difficult decision to leave their children without the critical support of instructors and institutions that help keep them safe, fed, and out of trouble.
“Coaching Corps is uniquely qualified to fill this need,” said Janet Carter, president and CEO of Coaching Corps. “Our infrastructure and staff are built to activate large numbers of volunteers as coaches. We have the technology and the skillset to get volunteers, and donations, to sites on the frontlines to help ensure families do not endure further adversity.”
Food banks work at capacity during normal times. Now with the coronavirus, they expect to double, perhaps triple their output in the coming weeks. They estimate a 40% or more drop in the volunteer workforce, which means the need to get meals to those who need them is dire.
The situation is acute:
- In Oakland, California where Coaching Corps is headquartered, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) estimates that roughly 50,000 kids who rely on free or reduced breakfast and lunch programs to avoid going hungry are now vulnerable. Oakland currently has 12 sites delivering meals. According to OUSD, since day one of service, the number of meals provided has quadrupled, with that number expected to balloon.
- Los Angeles Unified School District, where nearly 700,000 students, almost 80% who are from families living in poverty, served 374,052 meals in one day, helping more people than any food bank in the country.
- San Francisco Unified School District reports distributing roughly 40,000 meals per day, with those numbers expected to increase.
- San Diego Unified School District, California’s second largest district, reported giving out over 50,000 meals in its first week of distribution.
“We already work with limited resources in normal circumstances,” said Bobby Miller, director of operations at Emeryville Citizens Assistance Program. “Now with COVID-19, our volunteer team has been greatly reduced, making it much harder to help the families we support, and the many more who now come to us because they cannot work. Without the help of Coaching Corps’ efforts to recruit volunteers, we would not be able to distribute the 20 tons of food each week to the hundreds of families we are helping.”
With shelter-in-place mandates, food distribution is considered a government-approved essential service. Coaching Corps is taking necessary safety precautions. Those interested in volunteering are referred to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines to determine if they are high-risk, and if not, to decide for themselves if they are comfortable volunteering. It is crucial that volunteers self-select and make decisions about their own safety. Coaching Corps continues to confirm with partners that they are following CDC-recommended safety protocols of social distancing, wearing protective gear and sanitizing workspaces, and is following up with partners to ensure safety precautions are being maintained.
About Coaching Corps:
Since 2002, Coaching Corps has been fueling a movement of skilled coaches to give youth in low-income communities the sports mentors they want and deserve. By partnering with over 500 afterschool programs across the country, Coaching Corps has provided more than 200,000 underprivileged kids with the opportunity to play sports under the guidance of a caring, well-trained coach. Informed by the latest research on youth character development, Coaching Corps trains coaches to foster persistence, optimism, self-regulation and empathy in kids, providing coaches with the ongoing support they need to ensure children in under-resourced communities learn skills that last lifetimes. Learn more about Coaching Corps at www.CoachingCorps.org.