Together with the community, Goosefoot Community Fund and Whidbey Community Foundation partnered for a second year in a row to raise over $125,000 for the Essential Needs Program, providing direct and immediate assistance to local households to help keep our neighbors housed, keep them working and help them through emergency.
“It has been over two years since the start of the pandemic, but the rising cost of goods, lack of affordable housing and limited public transportation on the island have led to many of our Whidbey neighbors struggling to afford even their basic needs,” according to a press release from Whidbey Community Foundation.
Essential Needs Program help fill gaps for Whidbey Island households that aren’t met through existing funding streams. Goosefoot and Whidbey Community Foundation are working again with the Opportunity Council Island County Service Center to administer these funds directly to households.
In May 2022, the Essential Needs Program was seeded with $50,000 — $25,000 each from Goosefoot and Whidbey Community Foundation — and a collective goal of $125,000 was set. The Goose Community Grocer again designated the Essential Needs Program as its Roundup for Charity recipient from May through July and alone raised over $25,000.
In addition, Prima Bistro and Saltwater Fish House and Oyster Bar in Langley supported the fundraiser by designating the Essential Needs Program as their June recipient for their Cocktails for a Cause, with $2 from each themed cocktail going directly toward the fundraiser.
The fundraiser met and surpassed its goal by July 31 with a final total of $125,195.06.
“We are honored to be deploying this funding that assists our community in ways we have never been able to do,” said Melissa Frasch-Brown, director of Opportunity Council Island County Service Center. “To date, we have been able to purchase fridges for disabled community members and elders, assist with homelessness prevention for veterans, purchase home items for those moving out of homelessness, support new moms with car seats, assist with medical bills, car repairs, urgent daycare needs and much more. This means so much to our staff, who often feel frustration not having funds for the extra things that people need assistance with. The program has given us the freedom to help more, which is our passion.”