Most Inspiring Community Outreach During COVID-19: Family & Intercultural Resource Center
Since 1993, the Family & Intercultural Resource Center has been serving Summit County as a safety net. The nonprofit manages a food pantry while providing valuable resources on parenting, housing, mental health and more. Those basic needs have only grown since the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic. In two months, the organization provided over 14,000 services, the amount the nonprofit usually sees over the course of a year. The center also became a location for coronavirus testing.
The food pantry has been particularly busy. One in three households reported that they don’t have sufficient income to meet all their basic needs, and one in eight households reported that they experience hunger. Statewide, that statistic is one in 10. Families who use the food pantry are able to save $350 a month in grocery money that they can put toward housing and other expenses.
The resource center largely focused on expanding existing initiatives instead of implementing new programs, but it did start making social media videos in Spanish to explain the nuances of the pandemic. Videos were culturally tailored to make people feel safe and comfortable, rather than just undergoing a basic translation, and online visits went up 700%.
“What we did was try to make sure we were communicating with the community that we were serving no matter what the circumstances were,” Executive Director Brianne Snow said. “We tried to do it in a really hopeful way. A lot of people were really suffering.”
One way to ease that suffering and inspire hope was the annual FIRC Fashion Show, which went virtual this year. The fundraiser tasked community members to parody music videos and album art. Submissions were then collected into an entertaining livestream.
“We decided early on that we would continue with the fashion show so that people could get together with their families, make videos, laugh and genuinely forget about COVID for a few moments and really just be in a happier place,” Snow said.
The organization’s Breckenridge food pantry is open from noon to 1 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at 1745 Airport Road. The Silverthorne food pantry is open from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at 251 W. Fourth St. Donations can be dropped off between 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays in Breckenridge. Shopping at the Dillon thrift store, 340 Fielder Ave., can be done from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Donations can be made at the Dillon store from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays with a two-bag limit.
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