By Sharon Adams
As COVID-19 impacts North Texas, Rainbow Days has doubled its food delivery services to low-income families residing in three different extended-stay motels. Currently, 27 local families comprising 138 children and adults are benefiting from food deliveries twice a month through Rainbow Days’ “Project Hope” food program.
Since February, Project Hope food delivery services have expanded vastly as the number of people served and the frequency of deliveries have both doubled. To achieve this, Rainbow Days has coordinated with the Dallas ISD Homeless Education Program as well as partnering school counselors and liaisons to identify additional families in need of services.
In addition to providing families with nutritious food sourced through Crossroads Community Services, Rainbow Days is now meeting families’ evolving critical needs by distributing cleaning supplies, household goods and toiletries. Low-income families like those served through Project Hope are disproportionately affected by widespread shortages of vital household goods due to COVID-19.
For these 27 motel families, whose parents largely work full-time jobs but cannot make ends meet or secure permanent housing, Project Hope’s food deliveries are a supportive service they can count on, especially during the ongoing health crisis. Although food is a constant scarcity for these families, COVID-19 has exacerbated food insecuritysubstantially as children lack the consistent meals they would normally get at school and parents face layoffs or reduced work hours due to the pandemic.
“Rainbow Days is responding to a critical need in our community,” shared Tiffany Beaudine, Rainbow Days’ interim executive director. “Families living in motels often are sharing a car with their partner, so they have limited access to transportation to go and get food or supplies available to them. We remove the barrier to service of transportationand meet a real and felt need for these families by delivering food, tangible items and encouragement in a personal way.”
Recently, one parent enrolled in Project Hope expressed her gratitude by saying: “My refrigerator was almost completely empty. But, I didn’t lose hope because I knew Rainbow Days was coming today.”
Rainbow Days is grateful for The Crystal Charity Ball and its continued support of Project Hope. Further, the program’s expansion during the COVID-19 crisis has been enabled through funding from various donors, including Nancy Ann Hunt and the Liberty Mutual Foundation. Additionally, Project Hope would not be possible without the many individual volunteers who have generously sacrificed their time to join Rainbow Days’ staff for food deliveries during this challenging, unprecedented time.
ABOUT PROJECT HOPE: Project Hope, a subprogram of Rainbow Days’ Family Connection program for homeless children, was officially founded in 2017 to address the unmet needs of children and families living in motelsacross the Dallas area. Families living in motels represent a subset of the homeless population that is often overlooked; however, the Dallas ISD Homeless Education Program estimates that approximately 1,000 of its students reside in motels. In order to meet the critical needs of children living in motels, Rainbow Days’ Project Hope annually serves more than 250 children and their families through an array of supportive services, including the food program.
ABOUT RAINBOW DAYS: Rainbow Days is a 501(c)(3) Dallas-based nonprofit organization. Founded in 1982, Rainbow Days has a mission to help children and youth in adversity build coping skills and resilience to create positive futures. Through support groups, camps, mentored events and tangible items, Rainbow Days makes meaningful connections with more than 9,000 homeless and at-risk children and youth in the Dallas area annually. For more information, please visit www.rainbowdays.org or call (214) 887-0726.