The Epic-Cure Almost Monthly Newsletter
The Second (yep, two in a row, a streak!) AMEC Newsletter: August, 2020 Welcome, everyone, to the second of its kind Almost Monthly Epic-Cure Newsletter, where we will try our best to give all of our friends a sporadically regular update on the stuff we have been up to and the things we want to pull off! Our purpose, as always, is to keep all of our Good People informed about as much of EpicCure’s inner and outer workings as possible. Our new website has been launched.
Check it out at: www.epic-cure.org.
To improve readability, we have placed our Mission Statement at the end of this letter. It is an inspirational mission, so we will, from time to time, place it right here. Just in case you forget!
Epic-Cure has been invited to speak an educational forum hosted by The Community Foundation of Northeast Florida in early August.
• About 75 fundholders will be watching the zoom meeting.
• The CEO of Feeding Northeast Florida will speak first regarding the myths of hunger vs food insecurity.
• We will speak next about the needs we are seeing in the community, our multi-pronged approach to addressing the need and sourcing food to meet the needs.
• After that we will have a 15 to 20 minute Q&A with fundholders.
Epic-Cure’s Community Impact:
Despite the Independence Day Holiday and a brief shutdown for Tropical Storm Isaias, Epic-Cure’s numbers continue to grow. In July, we rescued and distributed just under 320,000 pounds of food and household items! That is 160 tons, for the mathematically inclined. Check out the chart, below. You can see the steady march higher in Saint Johns and Putnam Counties.
Grand Total (Putnam): 345,509 pounds
Grand Total (St Johns): 1,295,064 pounds
Summing up the Month of July 2020:
July was eventful for Epic-Cure! Here is the blow-by-blow:
• We are excited about our new partnership with SAYS (Saint Augustine Youth Services). Twice a week we are providing food to help keep their costs down in feeding the 32 at-risk youth. They live in a therapeutic group home and are provided coaching, counseling, and care.
• We have made great progress on the “How-To Guide”. The guide and training will be offered for free to anyone who wants to replicate what we do. We will make videos to go along with the guide over the next few weeks. As the long-term economic impact of unemployment plays out, we will need as many people as we can get joining us in the fight against food waste and hunger.
• We received an additional $25,000 from the First Coast Relief Fund to continue renting the 2 trucks for the next few months. Just got notification that we should have the remaining grant money to purchase a refrigerated truck shortly. We have a dealer on the search for one already. aid it is looking very positive.
• Frozen meal deliveries scaled back significantly in July. There were some issues with quality, mainly flimsy packaging, that have now been resolved. Rather than meals in containers made of cardboard, they are now in plastic containers that can be repurposed for home use as Tupperware. This has sparked new interest in the program, so we hope to see it grow to its full potential of 1,000 meal bags per week (each contain 2 frozen meals). That is the amount we have available to us and we currently only use 162 per week. What I tell all groups interested is that I can get the meals here, but we need someone else to distribute them.
• Epic-Cure has been on a roller coaster with the school district about continuing delivery of weekend food to kids at Title 1 schools in St. Johns County. We hope to have a definitive answer this week. If given the opportunity, we are prepared to execute.
For those of you who don’t know what being a Title 1 school means, to qualify as Title 1 at least 40% of the children attending live in low income households. The schools we serve have 80% of the student population living in low income households.
• A flurry of activity in our new warehouse in Palatka, serving Putnam County and soon to be serving all of Northeast Florida. Here’s the laundry list!
- When the 40’x40’ refrigeration unit was all hooked up and they started it they realized that both compressors needed to be replaced. This will cost an additional $3,000. The actual cost is closer to $4,000 but the company we bought it from is chipping in $700 and free transport.
-We are still waiting on funding for ceiling tiles and the ocean container freezer unit. We have many grant applications for that. The total cost for both is $15,000. The Housing Authority is donating all labor to install the ceiling tiles. The total cost includes purchasing the freezer, building the footing it will sit on, and doing the electrical hook up.
-While we are waiting on funding for the ceiling tiles, we happened to be at the warehouse during a storm. There were at least 13 roof leaks. We notified the landlord and they are getting quotes to do a 2” spray foam topper that is waterproof. Will follow up with them this week for a timeline.
• Returning to the original of the species, the electrical panel has been installed in our St. Augustine warehouse. The plan: once we receive the $12,000 reimbursement for the Palatka refrigeration installation from Feeding Northeast Florida, we were going to install a desperately needed walk in freezer. The plan is on hold, because our cash position is not good.
This remains a huge priority for us!
• We held our first Sustain U. class at the 5 Star Veterans Center in Jacksonville on July 18th. It was a big success with 7 veterans taking the lesson – BBQ was delicious and be sure to ask Chef Brian Dowd for his chimichurri sauce recipe which was heavenly – and 21 dining together with the Epic-Cure / Sustain U. team.
• The next Sustain U. class with our 5 Star guys will be held on Sunday, August 16th.
-On the menu: Italian food!
May 1,735 June 1,752
We are not yet tracking volunteer hours for school loading/deliveries, senior meal deliveries or mobile distributions/warehouse distributions in Putnam.
March Programs: Mobile Distributions 18 Meals to Veterans (single meals) 259
April Programs: Mobile Distributions 31 Meal bags to Veterans AND Seniors (2.5 meals per bag) 3,046 Friday School Food Delivery Program at Title 1 Schools 200
May Programs: Mobile Distributions 32 Meal bags to Veterans AND Seniors (2.5 meals per bag) 5,980 Friday School Food Delivery Program at Title 1 Schools 3,926
June Programs: Mobile Distributions 38 Meal bags to Veterans AND Seniors (2.5 meals per bag) 4,180 Friday School Food Delivery Program at Title 1 Schools 2,035
July Programs: Mobile Distributions 37 Meal bags to Veterans AND Seniors (2.5 meals per bag) 1,613 Friday School Food Delivery Program at Title 1 Schools 2,300
I said that the Almost Monthly Epic-Cure Newsletter will be published, well, almost monthly. But you can stay up to date by following us on Facebook:
Or, checking out our website, which is getting a major facelift, to be rolled out in a few days: www.Epic-Cure.org
And on Instagram: epiccure_fl
Epic-Cure has a four-fold mission.
Nourish the planet – by eliminating food waste, reducing landfills, and curbing methane gas emissions.
Nourish our people – by feeding the food insecure the good food that otherwise would sit in landfills slowly rotting and polluting our atmosphere.
Through Sustain U., Epic-Cure’s cooking class initiative, teaching children and vulnerable veterans marketable and life skills to foster self-reliance and a sense of true accomplishment.
Connect generations – by using senior citizens as teachers for the school children, we will connect two very different generations so they can share experiences, stories, and friendship. Together, this sharing will improve the health, happiness, and well-being of the children and their senior mentors.