Brunch Boxes & Bags
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the We Cancerve Movement, Inc. created the Brunch Box program in summer 2020 to address food insecurity in area youth and their families. Through its Brunch Box initiative, We Cancerve provides families with meals over the summer months as a supplement to already existing meal benefit programs provided through the local school system, other free food distribution programs and through the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P- EBT) funds to purchase food when schools were closed. Our program helps address an accessibility issue; many families express challenges in obtaining transportation to the distribution sites and grocery stores to get fresh produce and meat to make healthy, hot meals for their families.
In its inaugural year, Brunch Boxes were stuffed with items donated by Hormel Foods, Bimbo Bakeries and First Fruits Farms of Freeland, Md. Through their generous donations, more than 600 children and their families received boxes to date filled with family-size cereal boxes, fresh corn and tomatoes, breakfast pastries, assorted pasta dishes including macaroni and cheese cups and canned ravioli, shelf-stable complete meals (microwavable), fruit cups and more. Other donors have included Bel Air United Methodist Church, Harford County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Iota Nu Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc, World of Children and the Fearless Foundation, Inc.
As youth returned to the schoolhouse in Fall 2021, We Cancerve began working with the Harford County Public Schools' Homeless Liaison Office and the Harford Community Action Agency on an unique initiative to provide weekly weekend meals to children living in motels and other high-risk locations with their families, and to unaccompanied minors. The Brunch Bags initiative was created to discreetly place brown paper sacks filled with 2-3 small meals inside children's backpacks on Friday evenings each week throughout the school year. Operating similar to backpack blessings, this initiative specifically targets children whose families don't qualify for traditional homeless services but who, because of income and/or living accommodations, need meal assistance for their children. As of February 2022, We Cancerve is providing weekly meal bags to 25 children, and on a case-by-case basis, to foster children and hospitalized children staying at nearby respite facilities.