“Never fail to act.” There are no truer words than those spoken by Elie Wiesel, the famed Nobel Prize winning author and Holocaust survivor. These words continue to call us to action here at Bread and Life. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been challenged every day to act. We’ve faced many obstacles along the way and hit new heights responding compassionately and with dignity to all of our guests.
In April we continued to reach new milestones–distributing 290,166 meals (377,220 pounds of food), 6005 pantry bags, and more than 2000 meals on our Mobile Soup Kitchen. Overall, we’ve seen a 1769% increase in the distribution of produce, over a 300% increase in hot meals served, and more than a 110% increase in pantry distribution.
We currently reach an average of 6000+ individuals and families weekly, and continue to respond to the needs of smaller, grassroot organizations with over 20 partnerships, creating unique ways to reach those who can’t reach us. Our partnership with In Our Hearts NYC provides shelf-stable food, produce and dairy to community fridges throughout Brooklyn and Queens. Since the beginning of the pandemic the number of refrigerators across the city has grown from from 8 to 80+, and we are honored to be a part of a vital mutual aid effort!
In April we solidified our newest partnership — a twice monthly pop up produce market at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center. The pop up market will reach more than 1,000 patients and hospital staff and provide access to fresh fruits and vegetables necessary for healthy meals.
On April 6 we welcomed Congressman Hakeem Jefferies and our friends at the Turkish Cultural Center who distributed hundreds of halal meals and PPE supplies. We are grateful for community partners who are committed to joining us in the fight against hunger!
While we know the effects of the pandemic are far from over, we have so much to be thankful for — the health and safety of our staff, the generosity of our donors, friends, and volunteers, and the hard work of scientists and healthcare heroes who helped us stay safe, flatten the curve, and get access to the lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine.
As we move into the summer months, Bread and Life will be developing a plan to move into the future, bigger and stronger than before. As Peter Drucker said, “ follow effective actions with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection comes even more effective action.”
In gratitude to all,
Sr. Caroline Tweedy, RSM
P.S. Help flatten the curve, get vaccinated!