I am pleased with what our organization has been able to do in just six years. Initially, all our efforts went into the product distribution aspect of our foundation, and we have been able to get over $4M worth of medicines and medical supplies to orphans and other at-risk children around the world since we began our work. We are also happy with our successes on the local front here in Connecticut where, since 2014, we have been able to fill an unmet need by starting three weekend food assistance programs to help food insecure schoolchildren/families. We hope to start a fourth (our first ion New Haven) in the 2017/18 school year. We found a partner who was already successfully delivering a weekend food program (the John J. Driscoll United Labor Agency in Rocky Hill) and who had the capacity to expand anywhere in the state if AORF could help find the funds to do so. Together we tweaked a model of weekend food assistance that not only provides the needed weekend food for the entire family, but also proposes to help families become more food secure over the long haul by linking them to other food assistance programs for which they might be eligible and services (mental health, employment, budget management, immigration, health care, heat assistance) that address the underlying cause of food insecurity: poverty. I would also like to address the mistaken idea of some that we are duplicating weekend food assistance services. It is estimated that over 150,000 Connecticut children live in food insecure households. Food insecure schoolchildren have access to free or reduced-cost meals at school but remain vulnerable to hunger on weekends and during summers. Although there are weekend backpack programs in the state, our best estimate is that somewhere between 5-10% of the children who need a weekend backpack program are currently enrolled in one. In our part of the state, the Connecticut Food Bank fed 3300 schoolchildren last year, but have 18 schools on their list of schools waiting for a program. Our biggest issue is that the needs for both our programs (local and international) outstrip our resources. We are grateful to all our donors, yet we are constrained by the limits of our fundraising. We are continually looking for ways to become more adept and successful in competing for funds to support our work.
Margaret Chustecki, MD, MBA
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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