PAL Check In

Written by Laura Ringo on July 17th 2020.

Dear Friends,

I hope this note finds everyone well, safe and with some peace in these summer months. The first half of 2020 has had its challenges and we have been navigating them right along with you at PAL. We have been fortunate that the services we offer have been part of daily life for many of our community members, from our food system program to our many public trails offering a place to be active and reflective during this new normal. These challenges have also brought opportunity to our team, allowing us to be more focused on our mission, more empathetic, savvier, and more strategic as we plan for the future.

Thank you to so many who have asked how PAL is faring through the current health crisis.

In the wake of this pandemic, I have been reminded of the importance of our mission and our work in this community. We dream of a Spartanburg where we all, regardless of our address, can choose healthy lifestyles that help to minimize and reduce conditions like cardiovascular disease and diabetes, which are tied to COVID-19 complications.

In recent months Spartanburg’s trails were one of the only places where residents could exercise, burn off some quarantine energy and see others while staying physically distanced. Because we collect monthly trail counts we know that use of trail facilities jumped significantly with 45,000 trail uses in April alone, compared to less than half that during the same time last year. These places were and are a critical physical, mental, and social outlet. With your support, we will keep working diligently to build more!

After a strategic planning session in late 2019, PAL committed to supporting healthy eating and access to fresh, local produce. We are finalizing our long term plans but have recently partnered with emergency food providers to purchase produce from local farmers and distribute this food to those who need it. Our efforts strengthen both our food system and the health of our residents, and food share efforts have soared this Spring with 36,000 pounds of food distributed in Spartanburg County alone.

We finished our fiscal year on June 30th in good shape thanks to continued community support and a small business Payroll Protection Program (PPP) forgivable loan, which is part of the CARES Act. We know that our work is more critical than ever and requires resources to continue building and growing for our community. Your help will allow us to keep doing the work that is needed. Please consider supporting us in the coming months.

Yours in hope,

Laura Ringo, Executive Director

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