November 2023 E-Newsletter



since 1982

Facebook  Instagram  LinkedIn

Dear Friends,

November is coming to a close and Christmas is fast approaching. When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of the opportunities I have to stop and really appreciate all that God has blessed me with-family, friends, community and a job that affords me the chance to bring hope to people every day. What do you give thanks for?

Recently I had the honor of being present at the re-opening of the new Food Bazaar in our community. It was wonderful to see how many employees Food Bazaar hired from the community. More than 100 locals were so excited to be part of something new in the community and we are grateful to Food Bazaar for their commitment to our community and to Bread and Life. This month they partnered with Bread and Life and the The Amazin’ Mets Foundation (NY Mets) to distribute 1,000 gift cards through our kiosks allowing guests to select a card and customize their Thanksgiving Baskets. Currents TV, a local Catholic TV program, visited that day and interviewed a number of our volunteers and guests, all of whom were so grateful for the chance to select what they needed for the holiday ensuring that their traditions and their special dishes would be on their holiday table this Thanksgiving. (Scroll down to our “In The News” section to see the video.) In total, Bread and Life served more than 16,000 guests in just 7 days through our pantry, mobile market and hot meal program ensuring that everyone had a special Thanksgiving.

This month, I am so grateful to the Charles Lawrence Keith and Clara Miller Foundation for their support. As their foundation sunsets, their financial support is helping Bread and Life to sustain our state of the art emergency food pantry over the next 5 years and establishing a new education fund for current staff, both incredible gifts with the potential to unlock so many new avenues for our team members.

I am also grateful to the amazing volunteers who helped keep the wheels turning here — St. Francis Prep, St. John’s University, Ridgewood Savings Bank, The Federal Reserve, and Google — and as always to our faithful supporters and donors, THANK YOU! Take a look at our new brochure for more information about volunteering.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I ask that you please consider supporting our 27th Annual Sponsor A Family Holiday Program. With the kindness of our amazing supporters and volunteers, we aim to provide a full holiday meal and a gift card for a child’s Christmas present to over 750 families. Your contribution, regardless of size, directly impacts the lives of those in need.

Finally, as we give thanks, I am reminded of this quote by Randy Pausch, “Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.” So, let’s give thanks for one another.

With gratitude,

Sr. Caroline Tweedy, RSM

Executive Director

In a wonderful display of generosity, our longtime supporters and friends from Ridgewood Bank, The Martino Family, and Sr. Margaret Mary Fitzpatrick, SC – Congregational Leader of The Sisters of Charity of Halifax, dedicated their time to volunteer at Bread & Life this Thanksgiving. On Wednesday, November 22, 2023, they joined us in distributing hot and hearty meals to our guests in need. Their commitment and kindness mean the world to us, and we extend our heartfelt gratitude for the invaluable time they spent with us.

With just one month remaining in our 27th Annual Sponsor A Family Holiday Program, we’ve reached an inspiring 61% of our $500,000 goal! A heartfelt thank you to those who have generously contributed, ensuring that families and individuals facing adversity will enjoy a truly Merry Christmas!

There’s still an opportunity to contribute to this vital program. Every donation, regardless of size, contributes to spreading joy and hope to those in need. Please join us in sponsoring a family, which will provide a full holiday meal and a gift card so children can experience the joy and magic of Christmas. Your support makes an immediate, positive, and meaningful difference.




Featured in Currents News on 11.17.2023



Sandra Perez-Weeden, a Bread & Life guest, brightened our digital food pantry with her holiday spirit. She generously gifted our volunteers and staff her exquisitely handcrafted earrings, showcasing both her talent and thoughtfulness.

We are deeply touched by her kindness and grateful for the warmth she has added to our holiday season.



A heartfelt thank you goes out to Campus Minister, Shawn Sempowich and the students and faculty at St. Francis Prep for joining forces with us on their Freshman Foundation Day! Together, they packed breakfast kits for St. John’s Bread & Life Food Program, spreading warmth and nourishment to those who need it most in the underserved communities of Queens and Brooklyn. Your compassion and teamwork shine bright! 

Donate Now!
or text HUNGER to 44321

For volunteering, contact:

Renelle Merstil at [email protected]

Facebook  Instagram  LinkedIn


This entry was posted on Monday, December 11th, 2023 at 8:16 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Interested in Supporting St. John’s Bread & Life?

You can help make an impact in the lives of so many of our less fortunate by helping us to continue our mission.

Volunteer Donate Ways to Give