Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It's Been a Busy Summer

This has been a busy summer!

Aside from our summer program at Roseland Homes public housing development (which included a basketball camp); WorkPaths, our job training program graduating another 10 week technology based 'soft skills' training cohort and starting another; our children and youth enrichment programs there; our firming up our relationship with J.W. Ray Elementary school (which involved participating in their teacher training and helping organize their 'meet the teacher' event), we also expanded our summer food program with a continuing and growing partnership between CDM's Nurture Knowledge and Nutrition program and Frito Lay/Pepsico.

Below is an excerpt of the email we received from our friends at Pepsico letting us know how the effort went and the results - nothing short of exciting!

"More than 290,000 healthy meals were served to kids across every weekday of the summer. We heard from the YMCA that in some of the neighborhoods, kids literally look in dumpsters for food. Instead, this summer, they got healthy food, a chance to play with their friends, learn something and even burn some calories. Seeing the kids this summer was a great reminder that we can't underestimate the power of healthy food in kids' educational and physical development."

"The summer program also created more than 100 summer jobs in an economy that is going the opposite direction. The coordination of the 90+ AmeriCorps members was a monumental effort in itself and many of them told us their experience this summer was life-changing."

"So far, we’ve hired 4 of our summer drivers into the Frito-Lay system. One of them told us he had to leave a full-time job in Ohio a year ago to bring his 4 kids to Dallas to care for his sick dad. He told himself he'd have a full-time job after 12 months. He got the full-time offer from Frito-Lay 12 months to the day of his arrival in Dallas. When he told us what it was like telling his oldest son he got a job, I saw a powerful illustration of what you mean when you talk about the "dignity of work.""

"Lives were changed this summer and it obviously wouldn't have been possible without CDM's unique expertise and willingness to solve difficult problems. Not only did you identify the need to address summer hunger and help design the country's first urban mobile model, I'm not sure there is another nonprofit in the country that has the expertise in both Summer Feeding and AmeriCorps to execute a program at this scale."

"We have a lot of work to do to refine the model and push for regulatory changes but we are in a great position when the USDA is praising what we've created together as a break-through solution to a long-standing problem."

"Thank you for your on-going partnership and for all you do for the Dallas community and beyond!"

Thank you guys at Pepsico for a fantastic summer, and helping our donors investments pay off in such a huge way!

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