To the Editor:
As 2017 comes to a close, we reflect on what an action packed year it has been at Bread for Life. We cannot believe it has been less than a year since we moved into our 31 Vermont Ave. facility and hired Donna Ayer as our new executive director. With your support, we look forward to continuing our mission to feed the hungry of Southington.
Bread for Life is proud that in 2017 we have prepared and served 32,000 meals to residents in our community most in need. 1,945 of those meals were distributed through our newly revised and expanded Children’s Summer Lunch Program that provided meals directly to kids who were in need.
Adult and teen volunteers visited at-risk neighborhoods and provided a program that included a nutritious bag lunch, friendship, and fun. 24,000 more meals were delivered by our volunteers to homebound clients throughout Southington and the remaining 5,750 meals were served in our soup kitchen at our new location.
Our beautiful new facility makes operations much smoother with our warehouse, kitchen, dining room, and offices all under one roof. We have seen a steady increase in clients coming to us where we provide a nice homey atmosphere.
We have been creative in addressing the hunger needs in our community and have begun a series of new initiatives.
We now provide monthly visits from Southington Community Heath Outreach Project which offers blood pressure screening, mental health information, enrollment in SNAP and Medicare, and connections to behavior health services.
We have also been able to provide our clients with a monthly personal care day in which they can come in for haircuts, beard trims, and hand and nail care from licensed stylists who donate their services. In a very successful new program we have worked closely with the Southington Police Department and have provided them with Food Emergency Kits that officers hand out to those with hunger needs that they encounter during their patrols. We have also begun a new mobile food pantry that brings food right to people living in economically disadvantaged and under-served neighborhoods in town.
This is just the beginning! We are looking forward to building upon our strong foundation of services in the coming year and to continue to help meet hunger and other pressing needs of those we serve. This year our annual appeal goal of $145,000 will allow Bread for Life to continue to do our important and vital work. We cannot do this without you and the generosity of hundreds of other donors in our community.
Your help provides an immediate impact on the lives of those who are hungry, forgotten, isolated, and without means in our community. We thank the Southington Community for your support to Bread for Life.
Mike Soltys, Donna Ayer
Bread for Life
chairman, executive director