• Epic-Cure,Inc.

The Epic-Cure Almost Monthly Newsletter February 2022

Open Invitation – if you volunteer in St. Augustine, we’d love to have you join us in

Palatka, and if you volunteer in Palatka, we’d love to have you join us in St.

Augustine.


Operations:

Palatka Warehouse:

We are still waiting on the “Evaluation of Onsite Sewage (Septic) and Water Supply Capacity”

from the Department of Health to be ready for inspection. Rather than going with the step-up

transformer to run the freezer units, the electrician is working with FPL to increase the power

supply to the building.

St. Augustine Warehouse:

We made the move from unit 3 to unit 2 and now have a lease until the end of the year for

units 1 and 2. We are still pursuing permanent warehouse solutions and are thankful we have

the time now to do so.


Composting:

On 1/7 we put a compost bin in service at Lemon Street which is a charming antique store with

a caf  and market in Palatka. On 2/1 we placed another bin in service in a St. Augustine Shores

neighborhood. Our amazing building team already has another one ready to go.




Here is our PIPS (Pounds In & People Served) graph:



Notes on the graph:

As predicted in our August Newsletter, the impact of the advanced earned income and child tax credit payments is

beginning to be felt since final payments went out on 12/15. The next impact will be felt when refunds are less than in prior years and, in some cases, some or all the advanced payments will have to be repaid. In conjunction with inflation, we expect to see a steady increase in food insecurity over the coming months. Since Feeding Northeast Florida (FNF) is still experiencing low inventory due to supply chain disruptions (apparent when you visit the grocery store), we are working on different strategies to access more food.

1. On 1/21/22 we took on a new Winn Dixie store pick up assignment. That made an additional 900 pounds of food available for distribution in the first 2 weeks of pickups.

2. FNF now has Dollar General under contract for agency partners to access. We are on the list to get store assignments as soon as that is operational.

3. The USDA has “mobile events” that can be scheduled where they bring a truck of current commodities for immediate drive through distributions. There used to be a long waiting list, but that isn’t the case now (exception: there is a long wait for Saturdays). Jennifer Emerick will begin scheduling weekday pop-up distributions around Putnam County ASAP. The need is great, and we are happy we have this resource.

4. Not sure what it will result in, but Sunny completed the training for the app Fresh Food Connect. Their mission is to grow a more local and resilient food system by connecting gardeners with their communities. We will promote the program over the coming weeks. If you are interested in learning more about it, you can watch this video: Fresh Food Connect

5. Southeastern Food Bank has been an amazing partner and continues to do all they can to help us keep up with the need in Putnam County.

6. Thanks to Charles Ross making the connection, we are in the process of being approved to receive food donations from 2 commissaries in Jacksonville and Mayport. The process takes up to 2 months, so we expect to begin serving those locations in March.


Sustain U.

Classes are going great at both the Boys and Girls Club and at Woodlawn Terrace. The kids are

engaged and really enjoy the classes. We continue to recruit more teachers so we can add a

second set of classes at each location. There are many kids on the waiting list that would like to

participate.

After several months of not much feedback, Bervin Harris (the President) and Howard Altarescu

(the Chairman of the Board) of Renaissance Youth Center reconnected to say that hearing

about our program really resonated with them. Ken met with them in January and learned that

they have redesigned their hydroponics room to grow produce that they will use to teach their

students in cooking classes. They have begun construction in another room to outfit a kitchen

and pantry. Ken shared the evolution of the cooking program and how we are now gearing the

curriculum to having a finished (or nearly finished) dinner for the kids to take home. He

provided a new binder with both the original curriculum and updated curriculum, which we

began teaching on 1/31. Both include the shopping/ingredient lists and each “make ahead”

plan. We are excited to see how they continue to progress!




Grants & Fundraising:

We were awarded a $5,000 grant from the MDRT Foundation to cover expenses related to our

cooking classes. We use as much rescued food as we can to keep the cost down, but we do

have to buy ingredients we cannot source through food rescue. This grant will ensure we have

enough funding to cover the costs for the 11 students we have for the rest of the year.

Evan Fleischer put it all on the line in Ponte Vedra High School’s annual Senior Men’s “Mr.

Fintastic” competition. He won! And so did we since he chose Epic-Cure as the charity he

sponsored. In addition to the money Evan directly raised for us, the ticket sale proceeds will

also be donated to Epic-Cure.

This is not the sum-total of his helping our cause. Evan has consistently volunteered at Epic-

Cure for a couple of years, often at the last minute to meet an emergency need, driving the 40

minutes (one way!) just to pitch in at the St. Augustine warehouse. He formed the Epic-Cure

Club at PVHS, which numbers over 60 members, members that he regularly corrals to volunteer

for the benefit of Epic-Cure’s patrons.



Amazon Smile and Epic-Cure:

If you are an Amazon shopper and do not have a charity you are supporting with your

purchases, please consider choosing Epic-Cure and login to Smile.Amazon.com when shopping.

1% of all purchases go to support the charity you choose.


Valentine’s Day Giving

Please consider using these Honor Cards to donate to Epic-Cure as your gift to your friends

and family! Just ask Sunny or Ken for the actual cards if you wish …




Awareness:

• This is large and bold for a reason…

An easy, impactful way that you can help us is to please …

You will help reduce waste by allowing us to re-use them.

You will be saving us money by reducing the number we have to purchase.


Volunteering:


To hear about ongoing volunteer opportunities, please join our Facebook Volunteer Group.

Charity Roberts, our volunteer coordinator, posts details about our needs every week. You can

reach her at charity.roberts@epic-cure.org if you have any questions.


Anyone who wishes to see Epic-Cure’s financial statements need only ask.

• Please email your requests to Sunny Mulford: sunny.mulford@epic-cure.org


Please watch the movie “Wasted: The Story of Food Waste.”

You can watch it on Amazon or Netflix.

Or, you can "check out" a DVD at our warehouse.

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