Saying GRACE Together While Apart
These days so much of what we had in person in the days before COVID have moved online. School is on Google Meet, Mother’s Day dinner is a Zoom Call, favorite bands offer living room concerts live-streamed to fan’s homes. So much of GRACE has gone the same way, groceries are pre-bagged, announcements go in fliers and Facebook, air high five’s and blown kisses take the place of handshakes and hugs.
How do we keep our community when distance is the kindest way to care for everyone? And how do we connect when a third of our households need a delivery, a third use our drive-up contactless option, and a third walk? Like the rest of our lives At this time, GRACE seeks refuge online. In a crisis we have to focus on basic needs first. We give fresh food, bathroom tissue, milk, and eggs, which are harder to come by. Harder still to procure is connection.
The gift of this time has been how our online community has grown. The line between GRACE shoppers and GRACE supporters when we connect in conversation online or on the phone. Just as we once exchanged ideas over baskets of produce, shoppers and community members share recipes and at-home fitness strategies.
The inspiration for GRACE’s name, a ten year old named Grace started a way for the GRACE community to still break bread together. The program, called GRACE Cooks with GRACE, takes inspiration from the items distributed that week. Grace selects one ingredient or two and creates a dish that is economical, nutritious, and appealing for the whole family. She films the preparation, bloopers and all. GRACE posts the video to social media and then encourages everyone to cook with Grace and share the ways they use that certain food. Community members, GRACE shoppers and supporters alike, interact, encourage each other.
Every Tuesday in the time before COVID, we shared in food for the body and spirit. Now, thanks to social media, the community we created when we have to keep our physical distance, we can connect every day and in a wider sense of community.
About the Grantee
GRACE stands for Giving and Receiving Assistance for our Community’s Essentials. While essentials can mean nutrient-dense food, we also aspire to enable the security, stabilization and success for all our community’s households.