Find Out Which Organizations Are Handling the Grab-and-Go Lunch Program at Your Local Public Schools, and Donate to Them

Re-running this post, which first appeared in March 2020, because COVID-19 lockdowns are still A Thing, and an increasing number of states are cancelling the remainder of the 2019-2020 K-12 public school year.


Find out which organizations are handling the grab-and-go lunch program at your local public schools, and give them money.


The spread of Covid-19 is pitilessly exposing all the frayed links in our social safety net. One obstacle to shutting down public school systems is the fact that for a significant minority of children, their only reliable source of meals is their school cafeteria.


Grab-and-go lunch programs have sparked into being to serve this need by opening the school daily only to those who need meals.


We’re asking you to call around, find out which organizations are responsible for running the grab-and-go programs, and donate to their efforts.


If you have a kid in school, try emailing the school’s administrative office or asking about it on your school’s Facebook page.


Alternately, you could try calling your local school department, or your local food bank. They’ll probably know the answer or know who else you can check with.


Another thing to think about for the near future is supporting school-based feeding programs during the summer. We wrote about this before, and deadlines for food donations and for offering a specific venue as a feeding site start arriving this month and next.


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Give to These Organizations That Are Helping Workers Who are Suffering Because of COVID-19

Are you able to give money to alleviate the suffering of people whose hours have been cut or whose workplaces have closed because of COVID-19? Please consider these charities.


We at OTYCD intend this as a landing page for charities that help Americans, and particularly American workers, affected by the pandemic. We might update the page in the future.



First, we should include a link here to our previous story about sleuthing out which local organization handles the grab-and-go lunch program at your public schools, and donating to that effort.




America’s Food Fund is the big-deal effort launched by chef José Andrés in concert with actor Leonardo DiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs (widow of Steve Jobs), Tim Cook of Apple, and several others. It will help “children who are out of school and rely on school lunch programs, low-income families, the elderly, and individuals facing job disruptions,” according to its GoFundMe, which, as of April 5, 2020, had raised $13.1 million of its $15 million goal.


Its first beneficiaries will be Feeding America and the Andrés-led endeavor World Central Kitchen (WCK). The GoFundMe page states that WCK “has begun meal distribution in New York, Newark, Miami, Los Angeles, Oakland, New Orleans, Little Rock, and Washington, D.C.; and is planning to expand its operations in the coming week. Currently, it is serving 100,000 fresh meals daily, and is ramping up. These funds will help World Central Kitchen continue to expand and feed more people. ”


Feeding America is the country’s largest hunger-relief organization, with a network of 200 food banks as well as 60,000 food pantries and meal programs. Before COVID-19 hit, it was serving about 40 million Americans per year. With the pandemic upending so many lives, it needs to gear up to feed millions more.


Yes, America’s Food Fund possesses mighty star-power and commands the media’s attention. But! It’s helmed by a guy who has a track record of feeding people in disaster zones and other tough situations. Everyone’s signing on for a reason. It’s perfectly OK for you to sign on, too.




Guy Fieri, a Food Network personality who takes way too much shit (he looks like a douche, but he ACTS like a mensch, and this is just one example of that) helped start a relief program specifically for laid-off restaurant workers. Run by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund delivers one-off checks of $500 to qualified applicants.


As of April 3, 2020, it had raised $9 million and its website application form had been swamped. (The powers that be are upgrading their servers and should be back online by Monday, April 6.) Checks will be disbursed as long as funds continue to arrive. Applicants must have worked in a restaurant for at least 90 days and must have lost their jobs or wages by March 10, 2020, or later in the year.


See the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund website: https://rerf.us


Donate to the RERF: https://rerf.us/make-a-donation/


Apply for RERF funds: https://rerf.us/apply-for-aid/





Back on March 21, 2020, Vox published Here’s how you can help people who’ve lost jobs or housing in the wake of coronavirus.


It includes information on two other funds that support restaurants and also tipped workers; organizations that help feed people (including Feeding America, which is mentioned above); people burdened by medical debt; funds that help the homeless and help people pay bills that allow them to stay in their homes; a legal defense fund for Asians who have suffered racial attacks because of COVID-19; and assistance for local businesses.


See the article here: https://www.vox.com/2020/3/21/21187530/coronavirus-covid-19-donations-how-to-help-rent-assistance-food-banks




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See Which Companies and Celebrities Are Doing the Right Thing During the COVID-19 Pandemic By Checking the Did They Help? Website

See which companies and celebrities are doing the right thing during the COVID-19 pandemic by checking the Did They Help? website.


Times like these bring out the best, and the worst, in people. A website called Did They Help? lets you track who, and what companies, are doing during the COVID-19 pandemic, so you can offer or withdraw your support accordingly.


Did They Help? defines Heroes as “Companies and high profile people who have gone made (sic) positive changes and actions to support employees and society due to the Coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic”. Zeros, logically enough, are people and companies cited for making negative or counterproductive choices in the context of the pandemic.


Its official Heroes include chef José Andrés, creator of the World Central Kitchen nonprofit, which is feeding front-line medical personnel, and also Darden Restaurants, which owns the Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, and other national chains, for offering paid sick leave to all its employees as well as two weeks of emergency pay for hourly employees.


The Zeros list counts chef Gordon Ramsey for laying off 500 workers due to the pandemic, as well as the GameStop video game chain for advising its stores to remain open during state and local lockdowns and asserting that it’s an “essential retailer.”


Did They Help? assigns or subtracts points from individuals and companies based on claims that readers send in with relevant backing information, usually in the form of stories published by media outlets.


As of early April 2020, the biggest hero on the Did They Help? leaderboard was Target, which earned ten points for raising pay for employees during the pandemic; instituting dedicated shopping hours for vulnerable populations; and letting employees of their headquarters work from home.


The biggest zero on the leaderboard was… wait for it… President Donald Trump, with negative seven points.


Oddly, those ranked by Did They Help? who earn actual zeros get a rating of “It’s Complicated”, which details how their positive and negative actions have cancelled each other out.


See the Did They Help? website (scroll down a little to find the form through which you can make a nomination): https://didtheyhelp.com


See its FAQ page, which explains how its team awards and subtracts points: https://didtheyhelp.com/faqs/


See its Leaderboard page: https://didtheyhelp.com/leaderboards/


Donate to cover Did They Help?’s website-hosting costs: https://didtheyhelp.com/support-donations/


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Learn from Daryl Davis, A Black Man Who Convinced More Than Two Dozen KKK Members to Leave the Group

This OTYCD entry originally posted in April 2017.


Learn from Daryl Davis, a black musician who has devoted himself to convincing white supremacists to leave the Ku Klux Klan, with surprising success.


In a February 2017 Atlantic magazine article titled ‘Every Racist I Know Voted for Donald Trump’, Conor Friedersdorf spoke with Davis about his approach. The piece contains wisdom that you can apply when speaking to family and friends who voted for Trump, and even in conversations with diehards.


To summarize Friedersdorf’s distillation of Davis’s approach:

Before you engage, be as familiar with the other person’s position as you are with your own.

Invite them to a conversation–NOT a debate.

Look for things you and they have in common.

Keep talking, even if you have to break off and resume later in the week, or the month, or the year. Being able to keep a conversation going–however tumultuous–is better than refusing to talk. Silence can lead to violence.

Stay patient.

Make deliberate efforts to escape your bubble.

If you argue, don’t condescend.

Let the other person explain their cause. Don’t explain it for them.


You may never get as good at talking to your opponents as Davis is–some klansmen have given him their old uniforms as they abandon their bigoted beliefs. But if you can reach even a few people, and get them to think and engage, that is a victory in and of itself.



Read ‘Every Racist I Know Voted for Donald Trump’:




Listen to the episodes of the Love + Radio podcasts where Davis talks about his adventures at length:

How to Argue


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Purchase and read Davis’s book, Klan-Destine Relationships: A Black Man’s Odyssey in the Ku Klux Klan (warning: As of April 2017, it’s out of print and pricey):




Visit Davis’s web site:



Start a 2020 Fund

This OTYCD entry originally posted in January 2017, as ‘Start a 2018 Fund’.


Start saving two dollars a week to fund political actions that will shape the 2020 election.


It doesn’t have to be two dollars. You can save more if you want. If you’re struggling, find a sum you can comfortably set aside, even if it’s just a quarter.


If you start saving two dollars per week now, you should have about one hundred set aside when the 2020 primaries crest the horizon.


The point is to develop the habit of squirreling away something every week to support your political efforts. You can define ‘political efforts’ as broadly as you wish. You can draw on your stash to donate to Congressional candidates. You can give to Planned Parenthood, Emily’s List, the Sierra Club, the Southern Poverty Law Center, or dozens of other worthy organizations that matter to you. Or you can use it as seed money for your own run for local office.


Budget for politics just as you’d budget for Christmas, or tithes, or a down payment on a house. Think long-term. Put away something every week, no matter how small.



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Donate to Crooked Media’s Get Mitch or Die Trying Fund

Donate to Get Mitch or Die Trying, a dedicated effort by Crooked Media to unseat GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.


Donald Trump is a plague upon democracy, but his damage is being abetted and compounded by GOP Senator Mitch McConnell, who became the chamber’s majority leader in 2015.


He revels in stopping sensible Democratic-written House legislation from advancing. He stole a SCOTUS seat from President Obama. He has been cramming through lousy far-right judges since Trump got into office.


His crimes against democracy are legion, and could be as bad as Trump’s. Christopher Browning, a Holocaust historian, straight-up called him “the gravedigger of democracy” in an article in The New York Review of Books (which, unfortunately, is paywalled, so here’s a Vox article that’s free to access that discusses him and his statement).


The team at Crooked Media launched the Get Mitch or Die Trying fund to unseat the noxious Kentucky Senator, but it doesn’t exclusively aim at him.


There are in fact two ways of dumping McConnell, who is running for reelection in 2020.


The first is to unseat him directly by defeating him at the ballot box. (His leading Dem opponent is Amy McGrath, who we wrote about when she ran for a House seat from Kentucky.)


The second is indirect. If we can’t unseat him, we can demote him to Senate Minority Leader by electing more Democrats to the chamber in 2020.


The latter is the more likely of the two to occur. The 2020 group of Senators up for re-election is heavier on Republicans than Democrats, and several of those Republicans are vulnerable.


As of 2020, the Senate contains 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats, and two Independents (Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine, who both caucus with the Democrats).


To gain control of the chamber, Democrats need to protect all their incumbents and elect at least three new Democrats. They’d need to elect four new Dems to prevent Vice President Mike Pence from having to swoop in and break 50-50 ties. (If we lose Doug Jones’s seat in Alabama, we’ll need to win at least four to control and five to ward off Pence.)


Get Mitch or Die Trying spreads incoming funds among ten Democrats. Nine are challengers, and the tenth is defending incumbent Doug Jones.


Crooked Media has arranged the ten into tiers, like so:


Don’t Fuck it Up (Tier One) – These are the most winnable seats for Democrats in 2020.

Arizona (Mark Kelly is running against Martha McSally)

Colorado (John Hickenlooper is running against Cory Gardner)

Maine (Sara Gideon is running against Susan Collins)



Come Back Kids (Tier Two) – Democrats lost these seats in 2014, but we have a shot at getting them back in 2020.

Iowa (Republican Joni Ernst is vulnerable)

North Carolina (Cal Cunningham is running against Thom Tillis)



So…Close… (Tier Three) – Stacey Abrams and Beto O’Rourke showed us that these states are about ready to go blue.

Georgia (TWO seats are open in this red state)

Texas (As of March 2020, M.J. Hegar is in a runoff to see who will challenge John Cornyn)


Long Shots (Tier Four) – Crazier things have happened, and if Democrats have an amazing year, these seats could also be in play.

Alaska (Republican incumbent is Dan Sullivan)

Kentucky (Amy McGrath is challenging Mitch McConnell)

South Carolina (Jaime Harrison is running against Lindsey Graham)



Don’t forget about Doug – We also need to protect our man in Alabama, Sen. Doug Jones.



Crooked Media might tweak or change this lineup as we get closer to the 2020 election.



Donate to Crooked Media’s Get Mitch or Die Trying fund:




See Crooked Media’s YouTube video announcing the fund:




Crooked Media sells a Get Mitch or Die Trying t-shirt in its shop:

Get Mitch Or Die Trying T-Shirt



Also see the Crooked Media Donate page, which lists all its projects that could use your dollars:



(And if you’re wondering why an upturned tortoise shell is the logo for Get Mitch or Die Trying… Mitch McConnell kind of looks like a turtle.)


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Help Tony the Democrat Send Postcards to Voters in All 67 Counties in Florida, Telling Them About Florida Vote by Mail

his OTYCD article first appeared in February 2020. We will repeat it once a month until the GOTV postcard campaign deadline passes.


Help OTYCD friend Tony the Democrat, founder of Postcards to Voters, with the Florida Vote by Mail campaign–an effort to send postcards to voters in all 67 counties in the state, reminding them about the option to vote by mail.


Florida Vote by Mail is the largest, most ambitious, and longest project Postcards to Voters has pursued since it sprung into being in early 2017.


The Florida Vote by Mail campaign began around August 2018. To date, its postcard-writers have dispatched at least 600,000 postcards telling voters in 20 Florida counties about how to vote by mail.


Tony the Democrat says that “we have been picking up speed and volume,” and he anticipates that the postcard army will have sent 1.1 million postcards promoting Florida Vote by Mail by the time the campaign ends (the precise deadline date isn’t set yet, but things will likely finish in late August or early September).


But! Adding 500,000 to the overall total won’t be enough to reach every receptive voter in Florida.


Can you help Tony the Democrat and the postcard army do even better than they expect?


As per usual, postcard-writers provide their own supplies: postcards, pens, postcard stamps (they cost 35 cents each), and any other flourishes you like, such as rubber stamps or washi tape.


If you are new to writing get-out-the-vote (GOTV) postcards to voters, see the Volunteer page and learn how to sign up.


If you are already an approved member of the postcard army, text or email and ask for addresses for the Florida Vote by Mail campaign.


If you’d rather sponsor postcard-writers instead of writing postcards yourself, you can certainly do that.




See the Postcards to Voters homepage:




See its Volunteer page to learn how to join the postcard-writing army:




Purchase pre-made postcards from Postcards to Voters:




Order 35-cent stamps from the United States Postal Service (USPS):




Order less-expensive vintage stamps that add up to 35 cents through Etsy:




Follow Postcards to Voters on Twitter:




Like Postcards to Voters on Facebook:




See the merch in the Postcards to Voters shop:




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