The fundraiser may have been virtual, but the need was real. And the Clayton Wealth Partners team is proud to have sponsored Just Food’s annual Harvest Feast on November 13.
In a sign of the times, Just Food took its annual community fundraiser online, but artists, restaurants, and sponsors still turned out to participate. Community members could purchase a feast prepared by seven local restaurants, as well as bid on items in the food bank’s auction. Musicians and other artists shared programming via live stream, and Clayton Wealth Partners joined the roster of sponsors supporting the event.
The Clayton team has seen the impact that the pandemic has had on residents. As Just Food’s Executive Director, Elizabeth Keever, and the fundraiser’s MC, Matt Herbert, shared, the organization has experienced a 44% increase in the number of people who are food insecure.
Meanwhile, Just Food has met the need while adjusting to the requirements of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those steps have included curbside distribution, socially distanced in-person shopping, and home delivery.
“Just Food’s ability to adjust shows how forward-thinking and caring its staff and volunteers are,” said James Walden, a Just Food board member and Clayton Wealth Partners’ chief investment officer. “They are having a real impact on people experiencing challenging times, and we are proud to have helped their mission as a sponsor.”
Based in Lawrence, Just Food operates a food pantry that serves 150 to 300 families each day. In addition, it supplies 29 partner agencies with produce, bread, meat, dairy, and pantry staples.
Community members who want to get involved can donate online. The 501(c)(3) organization reports that its network of food banks allows it to provide the equivalent of five meals for every donated dollar.
In addition, donations of food and kitchen tools are accepted year-round, and hosts for food drives are welcome. Residents who want to be more hands-on can also volunteer, with people of all skill levels sought.
“With so many people losing their jobs because of the pandemic, I can’t think of a better organization to support and have a direct impact on our Douglas County community,” Jim said.