The Capital Region Food Program (CRFP) started as the Holiday Food Basket Project (HFBP) in 1974 as a joint venture of the interfaith Council of Churches, St. Vincent de Paul Society & the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce, to help those in need during the holiday season. Since then, over 70 tons of food has been distributed, providing a holiday meal and additional items to supplement meals for two to three weeks, to families in the greater Concord area. This annual event was made possible through the tremendous contribution of hundreds of community volunteers.
Over the past 10 years the landscape has changed considerably. The requests and needs of the families served by this project have increased exponentially and utilizing the model for standard and custom food boxes was no longer effective. Advancements in technology have created opportunities for streamlining services and allowing flexibility that was not conceived of 49 years ago. This was evident in the ability to still execute the Holiday Food Basket Project during COVID, adhering to and aligning with CRFP values, which include collaboration, cooperation, responsibility, mindfulness, safety, and community consideration, all while maximizing safety and helping those in need, while minimizing the risk of infection and contagion.
As with any organization, it is essential to evaluate the services it provides to determine the validity and value. With a nonprofit, it is critical to ensure that the service being provided is meeting the mission of the organization as well as the individuals being served.
Based on the compilation of data collected over the years as well as additional research conducted in the past five years, the CRFP trustees identified that it was time to chart a new path for the future of the CRFP Holiday Project. In early 2022, the CRFP trustees announced the decision to discontinue the HFBP as it has been in the past, and to pilot a voucher model.
Due to its overwhelming success and positive impact of the 2022 Holiday Pilot, the Holiday Project has officially adopted the voucher format for 2023 and beyond!
The revised Holiday Project also provides an opportunity to maximize the impact of community donations and reduce unintentional food waste. By providing families with more choices for their specific dietary and nutritional needs, CRFP can reduce unused food donations and create a more sustainable program.
For more information on ways that you can assist the Capital Region Food Program’s Holiday Project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.