March 10, 2011

Announcing a big change at Bread for the City

I'm writing today with very exciting news.

On April 1st, for the first time in our history, Bread for the City will open our pantry to qualifying residents of Northeast DC.

We've been working towards this expansion for a long time. You see, even though Bread for the City is already DC's largest food pantry, we just didn't have enough capacity to accommodate the entire city. The need was simply too great for our cramped facilities, so we dedicated our energies to serving people from the communities where those facilities are located, in Northwest and Southeast (plus the few from underpopulated Southwest who occasionally come to us).

But as you know, at the beginning of this year we opened a new building that more than doubled the size of our Northwest Center facility. With this new space comes great opportunity for even more expansion.

So as of next month, when we expand our food pantry's eligibility guidelines to include Northeast residents, we will complete our long evolution into a truly city-wide agency.

Of course, Bread for the City has always been ready to meet with any District resident who walks through our doors, regardless of their address. In the past, Northeast residents who didn't qualify for our food pantry would still walk away with a list of accessible resources in their community.

Needless to say, we have never been satisfied with this limitation on our service. In fact, our staff often used the word "miserable" to describe it.

Thanks to our generous community of donors, those days will soon be behind us. We anticipate that the first few months of expanded food service will see an increase of at least 10% in visits to our pantry. As many as 500 new clients -- families, seniors, and disabled people -- could turn to us for our critical food assistance before the summer has even begun.

This will be a challenge. But it is the right thing to do. And I am confident that, working together, we will rise to meet the great need in our city.

Will you stand with us as we take this great step forward? It costs us just $10.89 per month to provide each person with a three-day supply of food from our pantry. In the coming weeks, we're hoping to raise enough to fund the first few months of increased demand. Please give today -- and spread the word!

Thank you for working with us to meet the great need in our community.