Over the last few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has upended communities and put a strain on our daily routines as we accommodate social distancing and stay-at-home orders.

With these necessary changes come fear, loneliness and anxiety, especially for those who are at-risk or feel uncertain about the future of their jobs and well-being of their loved ones.

Brian King, director of the RBC Wealth Management Boise, Idaho branch, knew his community was struggling, and wanted to do something to contribute.

“The first couple of weeks of the pandemic were shocking," King says. “My team and I didn't know what we could do to help."

King noticed the stress on parents whose children's schools and daycares were closed. With their children at home, parents had additional responsibilities on top of their jobs or normal daily routines, such as cooking meals for the entire family. In the Boise area, King knew the Boys & Girls Clubs of Ada County was trying to alleviate some of that stress and combat the food insecurity issue highlighted by the pandemic by providing daily sack lunches for families in need. The demand for the lunch program was so great that the organization started thinking of ways to provide dinner for the families as well.

That's where King saw an opportunity to help. The RBC Wealth Management Boise branch has been involved with the local Boys & Girls Club for years, so supporting the organization in its new endeavor made perfect sense. He reached out to some business contacts in the Boise community, and enlisted a team from Cutting Edge Landscape and Washington Trust Bank. Together, the group coordinated with a local Papa Murphy's pizza restaurant to deliver take-and-bake pizzas to the local Boys & Girls Clubs.

volunteer holding pizza on street

Photo courtesy of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Ada County

“Besides the standard pizzas, Papa Murphy's offers kits for kids to build their own pizzas," King explains. “We thought this would be a fun way for families to come together in the evenings and spend some quality time preparing their dinner."

Over a three-week period, the team delivered 1,500 pizzas, which were distributed to local families who needed the help.

“That's what Idaho and our citizens are about," says Andy Beita, Southern Idaho market president at Washington Trust Bank who helped King deliver the food. “We don't wait for others to take action, we're willing to take action to help ourselves and our community."

King and the team hope that the pizza delivery program will inspire other businesses in the area to do something similar.

“We have to remember that we are able to make a difference in our own communities," King says. “When we come together in times like these, we set good examples and in turn help our communities thrive and prosper."

volunteers holding pizza in van

Photo courtesy of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Ada County

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