AUSTIN (KXAN) —In March, the Austin ISD Crisis Support fund was created to help struggling families during the pandemic.
“We didn’t know how long things would last or what the impact would be,” said Michelle Wallis, executive director of the Austin Ed Fund that helped create the fund. “We knew families were going to need support.”
Since then, the fund has raised more than $10 million, with more than $8.2 million going toward feeding families.
“As of about a week and a half ago, we delivered our one-millionth meal to caregivers,” Wallis said.
The fund not only helps feed families, but it offers support for teachers and AISD front line workers as well. Wallis says they have been able to distribute more than $81,000 in HEB and Amazon gift cards to employees.
“We tried to support as many staff on those front lines with the gift cards,” Wallis said. “One of the number one needs that we hear back from our school leadership is financial assistance for families who are really hurting right now.”
The fund has given out $234,000 to families in need by providing gift cards for $50 and $100. Gift cards were dropped off at every single AISD campus.
“We distributed those gift cards based on the number of low-income students that a campus serves,” Wallis said.
The crisis fund also helped pay for things like wireless internet hotspots, tablets for remote learning and support for teachers.