Read and Feed announces matching gift challenge to ease COVID learning loss


Donations will double the food, resources, and literacy support needed for underserved Wake County area students to recover from the devastating repercussions of COVID-19 on learning. 


CARY, NC (NOVEMBER 4, 2021) – Read and Feed announced today a Matching Gift Challenge, Double The Impact, where all new and increased donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $75,000 through December 31, 2021. Funds raised will increase the frequency of services provided to underserved children who are struggling to read.


School closings due to the pandemic and a year of virtual learning created significant issues for many area elementary school students. Data released in September of 2021 by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction shows that more than 54% of third-grade students failed to pass end-of-grade reading exams for the 2020-2021 school year. The numbers are even more troubling for low-income students and students of color. Only 28.6% of economically disadvantaged students demonstrated reading proficiency at the end of their third-grade year.


Read and Feed Executive Director, Sherry Shudra explains, “the recent reading proficiency results provide evidence that COVID learning loss is real and many students are multiple years behind. Now that children are back in school, they need even more support. At many of our locations, Read and Feed will now meet twice a week and double the amount of time and literacy interventions children receive from our tutors.”


Inspired by Read and Feed’s commitment to respond to the growing need for literacy programming, several generous donors agreed to match dollar-for-dollar gifts from both new donors and returning donors choosing to increase their gift from last academic year.


Board member, Nancy Vodicka shares, “this matching gift challenge is a transformational moment for Read and Feed and the children we serve. To adequately address the growing reading gap in our community we need to increase the frequency of our services, which also requires us to nearly double our annual revenue. Now is a perfect time to invest in the education of our local children and provide tangible opportunities that will give all children the confidence and ability to succeed.”


For more information about the matching gift campaign and to make an online donation, please visit Donors can also send checks payable to Read and Feed to PO Box 5865, Cary, NC 27512. Read and Feed encourages people to make automatic monthly contributions by setting up an online, recurring donation that is both easy and impactful.


About Read and Feed

Founded in 2007, Read and Feed aims to bridge the reading gap by providing children with the resources they need to learn in a safe, welcoming and fun environment. Working with Wake County schools, teachers and social workers, Read and Feed identifies children in grades K – 5 who struggle to reach reading benchmarks and live in underserved neighborhoods. Last academic year, Read and Feed served 554 children with a cadre of 308 volunteers at 26 different locations. Learn more at

For More Information: Contact Lisa Brown, Development Associate for Read and Feed, at