One Kids Place’s annual holiday Italian lunch proved to be more successful than ever despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The annual luncheon raised over $7,000 for One Kids Place after community donors offered to pick up the cost of food.
“It was unbelievable, and I have to say, extremely overwhelming,” said Katharine Strang, Development Officer at One Kids Place.
Since 2017, One Kids Place has partnered with the Davedi Club to offer a charitable sit-down luncheon (feeding over 260 people) to businesses and community members.
Strang says her team had to retool the lunch this year, turning it into a takeout luncheon.
“We decided with COVID, we couldn’t sit back and do nothing and we really wanted to see some of our community partners,” she said.
To Strang’s delight, the event sold nearly double the number of lunches as it had in previous years. 418 meals were purchased at $20 each, which were delivered with the help of community partners and volunteers.
A dozen volunteers helped pack and assemble the meals along with another six tasked with delivering the lunches.
“Everyone had such a great feeling walking away from it, we will definitely do it again,” Strang said.
Strang says in the days leading up to the lunch, she received calls from members of the community who weren’t able to participate, but still sent well-wishes.
“It was great that we got the support from the people who ordered, but I really appreciated the support from the entire community,” she noted.
With the pandemic, Strang says One Kids Place had to cancel some of its usual fundraising events this year but is happy to have made up for it with a successful lunch.
“Things like that are bringing back a little bit of revenue for the organization,” she said.
One Kids Place has largely moved its operations virtually, with limited in-person services still available.
Strang says because of the online shift, the $7,000 will go towards providing families with computers and internet packages so they can continue to access services virtually.
Given the success of this year’s lunch, Strang hopes to be able to expand it next year. Depending on the pandemic, she hopes to offer both in-person and takeout meals, with a chance of it being spanned over a couple of days.