How outpouring of community support has created opportunity
The last two years of pandemic, worsening systemic inequities, and more recent struggles with inflation, supply and employment costs1 have continued to drive up food insecurity throughout our community. However, one positive note has also occurred: many of our food security and human services client organizations have been the beneficiaries of a tremendous outpouring of resources and support. This has resulted in area food banks, lifelines, and pantries funding their reserves and considering how to strategically invest in future sustainable services.
“the number of food-insecure people in our state doubled to 1.6 million people”Food Lifeline – COVID REPORT
Many leaders of these organizations have recognized the incredible opportunity they have to move away from their typically hyper-frugal approach into a longer term, invest-in-the-future stance that has included the hiring of additional staff capacity, expanding their services, and even moving out of older, less client-friendly facilities and into newer remodeled or even custom-built locations.
The Ostara Group actively encourages this strategic approach. Many of these organizations are working in inadequate space – negatively impacting distribution and access, with too few staff, all of whom are working incredibly hard to keep people fed and taken care of. Staff are amazingly dedicated, but frequently lack the necessary bandwidth and resources to offer sustainable services that meet increasing needs.
This confluence of factors has led to requests for support in planning, both strategic and campaign, as well as hiring support and interim staff leadership, as each organization considers how to best grow and mobilize their organizations to meet their community’s food security needs. In the past 12 months alone the Ostara Group has engaged with 8 different food security clients in campaign readiness, planning, and counsel – for those engaged in or completing campaign fundraising.
Sometime in the future the pendulum will swing back again into equilibrium across the non-profit sector, but for now, while the proverbial iron is hot, many of our clients in these service areas are striking the right note of investment in their internal workings and staff to ensure a stronger future and a higher level of service to their clients and customers.
For more information regarding Ostara planning, leadership, and fundraising services, please contact us at 206.466.1495 or visit our website Contact Us – The Ostara Group.