Fall is always a beautiful time of the year. The leaves change, the weather gets cooler, and the days get shorter, and we begin to turn our attention to the holidays- happy times for most of us but for some all they can think about is survival. Violence, torture, homelessness, hunger and constant fear plague so many in our world and in our communities. It seems lately that just surviving is a challenge. At home we turn on the TV only to see senseless killing, families being destroyed by violence and hate, mentally ill individuals roaming the streets, desperate for help, the growing lines outside our building filled with people from all walks of life who cannot afford basic necessities, and the saddest of all, the hate that is perpetuated because of fear and lack of understanding. At Bread and Life we stand true to our mission of feeding the body, mind, and spirit of all who come to our doors. We strive to welcome the stranger, give food and drink to the hungry and thirsty and work collaboratively with our community in an effort to stem the violence and hate. The gospel message to “love one another” is probably the hardest thing we will do in our lives. Please join me in praying for peace in our world, in our communities and in our hearts.
As we close out October, I would be remiss if I did not ask you to consider calling your local representatives in support of the Farm Bill reminding our representatives of the value and benefits of programs like SNAP and the Emergency Assistant Program (EFAP) which ensures places like Bread and Life get the assistance we need to keep our shelves stocked and the hungry find healthy nutritious food. I also want to thank Bloomberg Philanthropies and so many other foundations who recognized World Hunger Day and made significant contributions to help stem the tide of hunger in this country and worldwide. Here at Bread and Life I want to thank everyone who supported the Fill the Truck Campaign. Because of your generosity, we surpassed our goal of $20,000 by 40% enabling us to keep our pantry stocked.
In closing I am so proud to say that Bread & Life once again received a Platinum 4-star rating from Charity Navigator/Candid (our 4th consecutive year). This rating indicates our efficiency and effectiveness in procuring and distributing food through our pantry services, securing needed benefits for our guests and programmatic oversight. None of this would be possible without the work of our dedicated staff and volunteers. Kudos to them for their incredible efforts year after year and to all of you who join us in our mission to fight hunger.
In closing I am reminded of John Lennon’s words “Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.”