Local nonprofit Bellevue LifeSpring recently announced it has raised over $1 million to help local low-income families affected by COVID-19.
Despite its reputation for affluence, Bellevue has nearly 4,000 children living in poverty, Bellevue LifeSpring said in a release. And the need for food and rental assistance has increased since the start of the pandemic. Because of this, Bellevue LifeSpring partnered with the Bellevue School District to support affected families.
The funds will go to feeding and housing Bellevue students in need through the end of August, Bellevue LifeSpring said in the release. Since March of this year, support from corporate partners, foundations, and community members has helped provide rent payments for 146 families. Requests for rent support have more than doubled from the previous year.
“We are ready to be flexible and pivot quickly in response to this emergency. Now, more than ever, we need the support of our community to ensure no child experiences hunger or homelessness as a result of COVID-19,” Jennifer Fischer, Bellevue LifeSpring’s executive director, said. “We will see in the days to come how strong we can be together.”
Bellevue LifeSpring has also partnered with the Bellevue School District and Safeway Inc. for an emergency extension of its Breaktime-Mealtime™ program. Families in need receive Safeway food vouchers to replace meals their children would have received when schools were open. The vouchers have provided 483,950 meals since March.
With school closures extending into the fall, Bellevue LifeSpring is preparing to fund grocery store vouchers through December, as well as continuing to provide increased rent assistance. The organization anticipates needing to raise an additional $1.4 million to meet the need, according to the release.
“Community partners like Bellevue LifeSpring are critical to the mission and vision of the Bellevue School District to serve each and every student so that they are thriving and can become creators of their future world,” Dr. Ivan Duran, Superintendent, Bellvue School District, said in the release. “By ensuring students and families are nourished with food and have adequate housing, we know that we will be able to nourish them academically. We are thankful for our partnership with Bellevue LifeSpring.”
The community can help by making a contribution to the Bellevue LifeSpring website to immediately support the nonprofit’s efforts.