HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — A Tampa Bay area nonprofit needs help to make sure kids are fed during COVID-19 and have the proper hygiene items.
The Outreach Assisting Students in Schools or "OASIS" is a grassroots nonprofit helping students with a free or reduced-cost lunch.
Since COVID-19, the organization saw an increased need for food and hygiene items.
The nonprofits works directly with Hillsborough County Schools social workers to connect with students.
"There are so many families out there who aren't used to being in need that because of the economic impact are in need right now," says Dawn Schulman, OASIS Associate Director. "They don't have access to some of the resources that are out there."
Here is how it works: OASIS is helping distribute gift cards to families for either gas or food. They found many families may not have access to transportation to get to the Grab and Go sites or other food distribution events.
"Families who didn't have access could at least buy food for the week at a store around the community," says Schulman.
At the Grab and Go sites, they are distributing hygiene packets to students.
"We have about 125,000 kids on free and reduced lunch and that's the main focus of our purpose," explains Schulman.
There are several ways you can help.
Donate to “OASIS COVID-19 Student Assistance Program” by texting OASISKIDS to 44321 or visiting the nonprofit's website at www.oasis-network.org.
You can also mail a check directly to OASIS Network, 16057 Tampa Palms Blvd W #315, Tampa FL 33647.
In the future when schools reopen, you can donate new or gently used clothing and shoes. You can also volunteer at one of OASIS' sites in Tampa Palms, South Tampa or Seffner.
If you know of a child in need, the nonprofit asks you to ask the student to contact their schools' social work for help.