Camden Francis © Courtesy of Beyond the Crisis
By Raye Mocioiu
Camden and Colton Francis, two brothers from Massachusetts, have been making waves in their community by founding and running Beyond the Crisis, a nonprofit organization that donates non-perishable food items to underprivileged housing communities and homeless shelters. What started as a pandemic project has now impacted the lives of many families and provided thousands of dollars worth of food items.
To the Francis brothers, a good name has a story—and their story is proof of their drive to make a difference in the world. Beyond the Crisis was founded during the COVID-19 pandemic, which exacerbated already existing challenges many families faced, leading to job losses and creating additional stressors on families.
In 2020, after watching news accounts of distressed people waiting in long lines to obtain donated food to feed their families, the two brothers realized that something needed to change. They also realized that nothing was stopping them from being the catalyst for the exact change they wanted to see. The brothers created a plan: build relationships with food suppliers and bring donated food directly to those in need in the greater Boston and Worcester regions.
“Beyond the Crisis is a food distribution charity,” said Camden, the older of the two brothers. “We receive donations from grocery stores, farms, and food pantries, which get picked up monthly and stored.”
Once the donations are stored, food delivery trucks pick them up and transport them directly to various housing communities and homeless shelters. The housing communities and homeless shelters correspond to residents in-shelter, directly impacting numerous food-insecure children and families.
“Beyond the Crisis sought to help American citizens during this trying time and ‘beyond’ the pandemic,” said Camden. “Food insecurity is an everyday and on going issue that we will continue to fight.”
Holding true to that mission, the Francis brothers have worked to ensure that Beyond the Crisis takes its name literally, making plans for the future of fighting food insecurity.
“People would be surprised to learn just how common food insecurity is in their communities,” Camden explained. “Some people think that the people in their lives are exempt from food insecurity but fail to realize just how common this issue really is.
“We have remained focused on our mission, which is to create a safe haven for the hungry,” he continued. “Beyond the Crisis has worked with the White House to strategize and plan how to create systems and mobilize people to help combat and end this issue nationally. We have spoken with many larger organizations in these meetings, such as USDA and United Way.”
Camden and Colton believe it is important to tell their story to help be role models for the younger generation. They want to be mentors for young achievers and have been blown away by the support their organization has received. They see that many people are ambitious and driven, and they believe that with the right tools, they, too, can propel themselves to do great things for their communities.
“We will continue to work tirelessly until food insecurity is no longer a national issue,” Camden shared. “We want to be voices for the younger generation and show them that change can be made with consecutive action. You do not have to be a certain age to make meaningful change, do it now! Why not?”
Camden and Colton are making a difference in the fight against food insecurity and inspiring others to contribute to their communities. They show that anyone can be a changemaker and make a meaningful impact on the lives of those in need.
© Photos courtesy of Turning Point By Allie Murray What started as a school project turned into an entrepreneurial journey for Logan Curle and Tayson