Cups & Cones Community Foundation helping those in need during pandemic

By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News

A new nonprofit called Cups & Cones Community Foundation has been formed to help families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Since beginning, we have made 486+ meals or servings since November,” said Kristi Lee-Nordin, who helped found the 501c3 with her husband Rick and others in the local community including some with Major League Baseball ties. 

“Three local families came together with significant funds to seed the foundation and help initiate it,” Rick Nordin said. “One of the families donated $12,0000.” 

One example of a family being helped is a grandmother taking on three children who live in a local apartment.

“It’s helping people who need a helping hand right now,” Kristi said. “And it’s meeting the needs of families, especially families with kids.”

Families have taken on more family members during the pandemic, she added and  some of these are on fixed incomes and then “all of the sudden more mouths to feed, it’s very difficult.”

Some families are on the cusp of losing their house because they cannot pay the mortgage.

Another example is where a husband and wife were furloughed due to the pandemic and decided to go back to school.

“Total amount of monies spent this calendar year as of last week has been $4,651.50,” Kristi said. 

A local attorney donated time to file the nonprofit status. Cups & Cones, located in the heart of Steiner Ranch, does not take any proceeds from any donation that comes in other than the cost of food, Rick said.

The donated meals come from the hot meals Cups & Cones makes on a given night. The 14-year-old eatery creates hot meals for take out every week such as stuffed peppers, meat loaf, pork roast, and enchiladas. There’s a foundation donation tab on its website 

Carla Burks, Steiner Ranch Elementary PTA community outreach chair, has been instrumental in helping get needed food to local families in need. 

At SRE, she has coordinated a coat drive, a clothing drive and a mobile blood drive. “Serving in this position has made me more aware that many people want to help others – a lot of times, they just need to be asked,” Burks said.

Back in September 2020, Cups & Cones was selling food boxes every week that contained a variety of produce items from local farmers. Burks bought boxes several times and found out the Nordins had provided some boxes to a family in need because of a job loss. 

“I told (Kristi) that I know (SRE has) families on the free or reduced lunch programs that might be in the same situation,” Burks said. “I asked if (Cups & Cones) would be willing to donate if some of those families had a need.” 

The answer was an enthusiastic “yes” and then the SRE school counselor found three families who could really use some help. 

“We coordinated a produce box dropoff for several weeks and (the SRE counselor) let us know that the families were very grateful,” said Burks, who works remotely for a mortgage company and also serves on the Canyon Ridge Middle School PTA board. Her family has lived in Steiner for four years.

“The need for the food boxes was directly related to the pandemic. The families in need had lost their jobs due to employer closures,” Burks said.

The ability to identify and help local families led to the creation of the foundation, Rick said.

“My viewpoint, we take care of people we live next to. We have to. We can’t ignore our neighbors,” Rick said.