“It’s always seems impossible until it’s done.”
A great quote from Nelson Mandela, and that’s exactly what some of us thought more than a year ago when the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Could we do the impossible? Could we meet the increased number of guests? Could we welcome all of the new guests? Could we sustain the pace? Could we raise the money and secure the food necessary? Could we do this and stay safe? The answer was and is: YES!
Looking back at the past year I can’t help but be proud of the record number of meals we served, the pantry bags we distributed, and the communities we touched. None of this would be possible without dedicated staff, volunteers, and donors whose belief in us and our mission enabled us to do the impossible.
4.2 million pounds of food, 1.7 million pounds of fresh produce, and more than 3.2 million meals were distributed to our hungriest neighbors. More than 230,000 families were served through our pantry and resource sharing efforts and, with our grant from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, we found a way to reach more than 1,075 families each week, expanding our mobile market providing needed support and access to nutritious foods. We worked with Amazon and Carbon Health to hold vaccination days on site and, with our partner Care for the Homeless, worked to ensure that guests had access to medical care to stay safe. SO — what seemed impossible a year ago was not only doable, but successful. Our ability to listen and know the community needs, our flexibility and willingness to turn on a dime, and our ability to create new partnerships and networks, made the impossible POSSIBLE.
As we move from a crisis mode to one of recovery, we recognize that Covid is still here and more than 1.5 million people in NYC are still in danger of not having enough healthy nutritious food, including children, the elderly and the medically compromised. Knowthat Bread and Life will be there to help fill the gaps!
As we move into September, we recognize it as Hunger Awareness Month and our online campaign “Fill the Truck” will help us ensure that no one goes hungry. Our goal is to fill this truck each month so that no one goes to bed hungry. (breadandlife.org)
In the coming months you will hear more about our plans to restructure some of our services to reflect the needs of our guests and how best to assist them as we move through Covid.
As always, be assured of our prayers and thanks.
Sr. Caroline Tweedy, RSM