Over the holidays I had a chance to see a report on Good Riddance Day – a day inspired by a Latin American tradition to give people a chance to rid one negative thing from their lives and add a good wish for the upcoming year. For me, I want to return to normal. I want the COVID-19 vaccine. I want to go back to working side by side with my fellow workers not 6 feet away and definitely not wearing protective gear. I don’t want to continually be tested or scared of the unknown! And yet, we continue to follow CDC guidelines in order to safely serve our guests and keep one another healthy.
As 2020 ends, I give thanks for our 30 staff members who are kind, compassionate and who respond to the needs of more than 5,000 families weekly with great dignity and respect. The Bread & Life team worked together to distribute more than 2.7 million pounds of food (1.9 million meals) to our hungry neighbors – doubling what we typically distributed in past years. I appreciate our skilled case management team who worked with guests out on the street to secure more than $1 million dollars in emergency support to those most in need. I celebrate our newly created outreach program which currently provides healthy food to 21 underserved communities and feeds more than 1,000 additional families across New York City.
I am grateful for our donors and funders whose belief in our mission enables us to do what we do everyday, and to our Board of Directors whose expertise, guidance and support have been an invaluable source of strength and support during these trying times.
As 2021 begins, my hope is that we can continue to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the disenfranchised and the lonely, and above all be a merciful witness to one another, recognizing the very best in one another.
Thank you to each of you for the many ways you have blessed me this year and for your support of Bread and Life. May you have good fortune, contentment and peace in the new year.
Sr. Caroline Tweedy, RSM