Grocery Assistance Program (GAP)
CHARISM loves that we get to connect neighborhood families with supplemental food for when times are tough. CHARISM offers a weekly supplemental food program for residents of Community Homes in McCormick Park through a partnership with the Great Plains Food Bank, called the Grocery Assistance Program (GAP). Local stores donate perishable food, which is distributed weekly at the CHARISM Family Center, located in the heart of Community Homes.
From 4:00-5:00 pm on Tuesdays and 10:00 – 11:00 pm on Fridays, residents with identification (such as a driver’s license, utility bill, or rent receipt) can receive this supplemental food right in their own neighborhood, taking away the transportation barrier that can keep our neighbors in need from getting to this food source that can help when times are tough. A great aspect of GAP is that most of the program volunteers are also residents of the neighborhood; this has created a sense of ownership, pride, work, and community within the program.
To CHARISM, building a better Fargo means providing resources, support and opportunities for the residents of the McCormick Park neighborhood to thrive. CHARISM offers programs that can help our neighbors learn and make the neighborhood a great place to live!
CHARISM creates a sense of community and belonging. Each summer, CHARISM organizes a community garden within the neighborhood. Not only does this give our neighbors a wonderful crop of produce to share with their families, it also provides a time for neighbors to get to know each other and work together as a team. CHARISM’s neighbors take pride in caring for the garden and get to learn how to cook vegetables that they may have never even thought of eating before!
CHARISM is always looking for ways to help meet a need in Fargo. A need was identified within the McCormick Park neighborhood for education about properly using kitchen appliances with cooking materials. CHARISM has responded to this need by creating a “Fats Oils and Grease” (FOG) program. The FOG coordinator meets with families right in their very own kitchen s to talk about how to safely use and dispose these materials when cooking. The FOG coordinator knows this neighborhood and many of its residents well, which gives families a safe place to learn and ask questions without feeling intimidated. Another perk is that the FOG education helps reduce the need to replace damaged appliances!
From providing a space for residents to gather to providing opportunities for technology and language learning through our partnership with Project English, CHARISM is making Fargo a better place for our neighbors to live!
Centered around family and fun, CHARISM loves to host fun events throughout the year to bring the neighborhood together. Through Halloween costume parties, Christmas celebrations, spring events, and a neighborhood party in the summer, the children and parents of the community are able to gather to play games, work on craft projects together, share snacks, watch movies, and other family-friendly activities.
Through these neighborhood events, CHARISM works to build a stronger, better neighborhood in Fargo where families are able to have something fun to do together while meeting their neighbors. We love this neighborhood and are so glad that we can help make it an even better place for families to live and grow!