Beyond the Crisis: A Nonprofit Started by Two Brothers During a Global Pandemic

October 13, 2021

By Camden and Colton Francis

Camden, 17, is a senior attending an independent preparatory school in Concord, Massachusetts .Camden enjoys spending quality time with his family and friends. He likes going on long walks with his dog. He also enjoys playing sports. Today, he spends significant time volunteering through Beyond the Crisis, the nonprofit organization he founded to lead efforts in mitigating food hunger amidst the pandemic.

Colton, 13, is in the eighth grade, and like his older brother, Colton believes that helping others truly matters. Colton also loves playing sports. Besides playing sports, he also enjoys playing with his dog. hanging out with friends and family, and playing video games.

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Imagine your young child telling you that they are hungry, but you have no food to give them. Such a situation would be hard for many of us to fathom. Feeding America, a nationwide network of more than 200 food pantries, estimates that approximately 42 million children and adults struggle with food insecurity. Tens of millions of people in America – the wealthiest country in the world – struggled with food insecurity before the pandemic, and many will continue to face hunger after it has subsided.

My brother and I were deeply disturbed when we watched TV news accounts of distressed people waiting in long lines for hours to obtain donated food to feed their families. Seeing that so many children and adults were experiencing hunger when we were fortunate enough to eat whatever we wanted compelled us to make an impact in our community.

In 2020, after extensive research and networking, I officially established Beyond the Crisis©, a nonprofit organization with the help of my younger brother, Colton, as part of a major regional effort to mitigate food hunger in Massachusetts.

Our mission is to provide food to numerous families in the greater Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts regions. We have established personal relationships with more than 35 food suppliers (grocery stores, food pantries, farms, and private benefactors) that have pledged food and monetary donations.

One of our partners is Catholic Charities of Boston. This 118-year-old nonprofit organization is one of the largest in Massachusetts. Beyond the Crisis joins Catholic Charities of Boston to help feed more than 100,000 food-insecure individuals each year.

In addition to distributing nonperishables to nonprofits, we plan to find methods to recover food from restaurants before it expires to deliver warm meals to residents in need while reducing the amount of food waste in Massachusetts.

We could not have established this nonprofit without the support and encouragement of our parents. Thanks to our parents, we have always had the moral obligation to help people in need. We began volunteering at local food pantries and food banks at a very young age. Moreover, volunteering gives us gratitude, improves our emotional and spiritual wellbeing, and reduces our stress.

We believe that “to give real service, you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity,” a quote from the late British author and screenwriter Douglas Adams.

We look forward to continually serving children and families in our community and working to mitigate food insecurity one meal at a time.

Sincerely,

Camden and Colton Francis

Founder & Co-Founder

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