New initiative keeps local families fed

Bag filled with groceries

CU-BetterTogether initiative will help Champaign and Urbana School Districts boost their capacity to feed families!

A discussion with school superintendents about how the community can better support families during COVID-19 has led to a new initiative. CU-BetterTogether is an all-inclusive effort of both faith-based, and non-faith-based organizations to support the families of school-aged children and reduce food insecurity. It will work to support the existing food distribution systems managed by Champaign Unit 4 and Urbana Unit 116.

The Champaign County COVID-19 Relief Fund is providing $65,000 in initial funds and will manage the CU-BetterTogether funds as part of overall relief work. CU-BetterTogether has set $250,000 as a fundraising goal and is putting out a call to organizations and community members to help meet the community’s need.

The initiative will work within the existing structure the school districts have set up. This will boost Districts’ capacity to serve the entire family. Families should visit the Champaign Unit 4 or Urbana District 116 websites to find the nearest food distribution site.

CU-BetterTogether is a collaborative effort between United Way, The Community Foundation of East Central Illinois, The C-U Schools Foundation, The Stephens Family YMCA, and over 25 other organizations and faith communities.   

Jeff Scott, CEO of the Stephens Family YMCA, said, “We wanted to connect what the schools were already doing to feed their students and the work that Stone Creek Church and The Vineyard Church were starting in order to feed families.  But we wanted to include the whole community in the solution.  It is our hope that our entire community will get behind this effort to help insure the food security for many families suffering from the indirect effects of COVID-19.  This will require a huge community investment, but I believe our community is worth it!”

Stone Creek Church and The Vineyard Church are establishing safe volunteer opportunities as part of this initiative.

Volunteers Needed to pack food for Urbana School District #116

Volunteers Needed to pack food for Champaign Unit 4 Schools
Groups sign up:
Individuals sign up:

CU-BetterTogether is part of the Champaign County COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Click here to make a donation to support this effort!


Logo designed by Kristy Lau