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So What Else, Inc.
So What Else, Inc.
So What Else, Inc.
So What Else’s mission is to improve the lives of children and families living in underserved communities in the Baltimore-Washington Metro Area by providing food security, access to basic necessities, and high-quality out-of-school time programs in literacy, athletics, and the visual and performing arts while inspiring young people to give back to the community by creating volunteer opportunities for individuals of all ages.
About the Organization:
2 MILLION - 3 MILLION
Imagine as a child, one day you wake up and have no more breakfast. Then lunch never arrives. Dinner was already spotty. Imagine your food security taken away, permanently, with no end in sight. This is what happened to millions of children and families in March, 2020 upon school closures due to Covid-19. And now, in a post Covid world, the operation of SWE’s Emergency Hunger Relief Program is imperative to the livelihood of thousands of families. Covid-19 has amplified one of the nation's most urgent problems: childhood hunger. According to NPR, since Covid began “researchers found [food] insecurity has more than tripled among households with children to 29.5%.” That’s nearly 1 in 4 children in America. Furthermore childhood hunger and diet-related illnesses disproportionately affect children/families of color, specifically Asian American, Black & Latinx families. This shocking social issue is exacerbated by the fact that this number is in fact climbing rather than declining, even with the gains made by hunger relief initiatives across the nation. One must ask why this issue continues to increase? The answer is simply because of lack of reliable food access due to food security barriers: -Transportation/location -Language-families are unable to access resources because they are only available in English -Qualification-nationality, citizenship or previous income statements may prevent families from qualifying for programs
SWE recognizes dozens of barriers to children and low-income families receiving nutritious food on a daily basis, so the team at SWE adapted the program to transcend these barriers and directly meet the need for food security by traveling to the underserved communities where our clients live. Through this innovative program, SWE makes nutritious meals accessible for children and families who face poverty, hardship, and discrimination barriers which result in limited nutritious food access. Unlike other local food access systems, this program creates a direct food access system, rather than creating policy, education and networking, SWE’s program recovers millions of pounds of surplus food directly from farmers, food distributors, and grocery stores then puts thousands of volunteers and staff on the ground, delivering this nutritious food directly into the hands of children and families in their own neighborhoods. Thereby solving food insecurity while simultaneously reducing our region’s carbon footprint by keeping millions of pounds of food from rotting in landfills. SWE eliminates qualification barriers by establishing no requirements for our programs. No citizenship or income restrictions are needed to participate in our program, allowing accessibility for all individuals and families. SWE also recognizes that many different languages are spoken in this country, therefor we have staff and volunteers that speak over 10 languages ready to assist clients. Lastly, we rescue and receive food from a variety of companies, including Asian markets and Spanish supermarkets to ensure we offer a variety of culturally familiar food for families.