The Oregon Black Education Foundation (OBEF) has worked extensively with Kalapuya High School and the Bethel School District for years, supporting historically undeserved and disenfranchised students in earning their diplomas and furthering their educations. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated barriers for many of our students and families and the consequences have been far-reaching and profound.
The Oregon Black Education Foundation (OBEF) and Bethel’s Kalapuya High School have been awarded matching grants from United Way of Lane County and the Oregon Community Foundation to assist local families on multiple fronts. This $32,000 grant will support the hiring of a bilingual staff member at Produce Plus to increase outreach and support to low income and Black/Indigenous/People of Color in our community. The economic impacts of COVID-19 have resulted in a 300% increase in the number of people receiving free food from the Produce Plus site at the Bethel School District Farm – we now serve nearly 800 families per week. Last Tuesday the Oregon Black Education Foundation volunteered at this drive-though produce distribution program, which runs every Tuesday and Friday from 11 am to 3 pm.
Grant funds will also provide direct support to all families in need with school supplies, rent, gas or food assistance. Finally, OBEF, will receive additional scholarship funding to support students intent on continuing their post-secondary education or training. We are incredibly proud to be able to partner with OBEF, an organization that has championed so many Bethel students.