KC Fed Encourages Shrinking Digital Divide

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City recently launched a program called the Employer Laptop Challenge, a community development program that encourages companies and other organizations to donate used computers and other devices to nonprofits, schools and firms that refurbish the equipment.

“Closing the digital divide was serious work before COVID-19. Now, as Americans isolate themselves at home, those without computers and internet service are cut off from essential services, from learning, from family and friends,” said Jeremy Hegle, senior community development advisor at the KC Fed, in a press release. “The need for laptops is extreme.”

Large numbers of donated like equipment from corporations knocks down costs and makes supporting the community easier, according to a KC Fed study. More than 30 percent of low income households lack a computer, Hegle said, and about 5,000 computers would be needed to assist the Kansas City area. The KC Fed has donated about 100 computers to various agencies.

Businesses interested in making donations can visit the Employer Laptop Challenge page.