Written by The Business Journal Staff
PINC selected Feed Our Future as the beneficiary for the organization’s annual PINC event held in June. The goal was to raise $65,000 or more for Feed Our Future at this year’s 8th annual PINC Party. Not only did PINC exceed this goal but set a new record for its fundraising efforts. PINC leaders say strong sponsor support and attendance at the “My Big Fat PINC Party”, held June 4 at Sunnyside Country Club, made the large donation possible.
“Feed Our Future resonated with so many of us because we’re all moms and aunts and have children in our lives and we believe no child should ever have to wonder where their food is coming from,” PINC President Delia Cholakian said. “We graciously give this gift and are so excited for this partnership. We can’t wait to see what Feed Our Future is able to do with this money.”
Feed Our Future was founded in March 2014 by a pair of local moms concerned about the many Valley children going hungry over the weekend. With so many children supported by free and reduced school lunch programs during the week, moms Jessica Nazaroff and Shelby Dart wondered what these children were eating on the weekend. They decided to start Feed Our Future to bridge that two-day gap. Feed Our Future provides children with a bag of food containing 15 non-perishable items for them to consume over the weekend.
The donation from PINC will allow Feed Our Future to nearly double its efforts and serve children at a third school site—Olmos Elementary School. Feed Our Future already serves children at Jane Adams Elementary School and Tilley Elementary School. Last year, Feed Our Future provided weekend meals to 250 children each week. Now, the organization will be able to serve an estimated 400 children each week starting in August when school resumes. Forty of these new children will be from Tilley Elementary and 110 will be from Olmos Elementary.
Anya Goosev, the director of fund development for Feed Our Future, said now more kids can just be kids because they won’t have to worry about where to find their next meal.
“These are the kids that really rely on the school system and are part of the free and reduced lunch meal program,” Goosev said. “These are the kids who are looking for food on the weekend. That is where we come in and are able to get that weekend food to them so they are able to focus on being a kid and getting their school work done instead of focusing on looking for food.”
Feed Our Future founders Dart and Nazaroff said $80,000 translates to 24,000 food items a month to fill 1,600 bags for 400 children. Nazaroff say the impact is far greater than the statistics.
“When we go to the school site all those numbers become names and faces and our mission resonates much deeper and it is the same thing looking at this dollar amount,” Nazaroff said. “With every dollar, I can see the little faces of the kids we are going to impact with this money. We are so grateful to PINC and their efforts. This will enable us to help make a difference in so many young lives in our community.”
PINC will begin accepting applications for its 2017 beneficiary on Aug. 3. Applications will be available at www.pincfresno.org. Applications will be accepted until midnight on Sept. 16. All applications must be submitted by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to P.O. Box 3413, Pinedale, CA 93650. No late applications will be accepted. Proof of 501(c)3 must be submitted with applications.
The top three nonprofit applicants as selected by the PINC Board will be notified and invited to present their organization to the entire PINC membership at the Oct. 13 PINC meeting. General membership will then vote to choose one nonprofit beneficiary. The 2017 beneficiary will be announced in late October.
PINC has raised $334,500 for local nonprofits since 2008.