Caption: When in doubt, plant potatoes! Hank picked up some seed!

Not quite sure where to start. There has been so much happening. But first off, I hope YOU are well and safely tucked at home. Our son Rylan and his sidekick Delta dog arrived on Tuesday night and I am so very grateful to have him home.

OICF has been focused on making sure local support systems are in place and have the capacity needed to meet the needs of the community as those shift and grow. This has meant ensuring that financial resources are ample to allow for expanding staff and volunteers, securing computers and printers (we are all working from home now), increasing food and gas purchases, and more. Fortunately, this community has stepped up and contributed. $192,000 has been donated to the Community Emergency Response Fund (CERF). Of that $130,000 is already out working in the community (see the distributions blog post).

We are truly fortunate to have amazing people in key positions ready to face the coming challenges. I have been deeply moved by the Food Bank Board and staff. They have had to stretch in ways they could have never imagined. This week they saw a 100% increase in customers and they anticipate that will double again in the next week.

Similarly, the Senior Center has quadrupled its meal delivery customers. When all this is over, we need to seriously look at the Senior Center funding structure and make some changes. Until then, CERF grants will help keep Lynnette Wood and her team from losing their minds.

There are also some bright spots. This Saturday, the Kingfish at West sound is selling to-go burgers with 100% of the proceeds going to the Food Bank. Doe Bay Resort is also doing to-go orders (pay what you can) with 50% of the proceeds going to the CER Fund. Finding creative ways to support each other through this crisis is critical. This is the time to shift from Me to WE.  Together we will make it through and the block party on the other side is going to be epic.

Finally, a shout out to the County for shutting down lodging and camping earlier this week. With local resources stretched so tight, now is not the time to invite more folks here.  I am sure that was a difficult decision and I am sorry for those who will lose revenue, but it is a sacrifice well worth it given the current situation.

I am going to do another FaceBook Live at 4 this afternoon. Sign in if you can.

Stay well.