Since the onset of these challenging times, we have worked closely with our many partners to build a new infrastructure to support the significant food needs in our community. The impact has truly been remarkable. Last week alone, Toni’s Kitchen provided over 1200 families with groceries, fresh produce and dairy; over 700 senior citizens had groceries and home-made meals delivered to their home; and we continued our meal program for 75-85 of our homeless and near-homeless neighbors.
Thank you to our dedicated community for making all of this possible. You are providing the funding, the volunteer resources and the passion to keep our families fed and our seniors healthy. Together, we will all make it through these very challenging times.
Toni’s Kitchen is now upgrading our initial outreach to improve how these newly redesigned programs perform. When our soup kitchen moved its meals to take-away, we found that guests would arrive early in the morning and wait in line for meals distributed at 11:30. Although we always prepare plenty of food and there is no need to arrive early, this is a particularly anxious time for those who are homeless. To recognize their stress, we are changing our kitchen practices to have meals ready as soon as guests arrive so they are not waiting or worried.
Our grocery distribution to families has seen significant growth and we expect that to continue to increase. We are in the midst of surveying families for feedback on the program so we can improve our food offering and make sure we are meeting their needs fully. We have home delivery in place for those for whom pick-up is difficult. Please let us know if you have a neighbor who might need this service.
Our senior meal program is going smoothly with additional ‘pockets’ of our community still being identified and integrated into the food distribution. If you know a senior or family that needs assistance, please reach out.
We are also navigating a landscape with significant disruption to the food supply. At times, you may see social media posts asking for help with certain items. This is often due to limits on our ability to bulk purchase those items in sizes appropriate to families. These requests are not the result of funding issues, as much as they are issues with purchasing. We are diversifying our food sourcing to recognize these supply chain issues and be sure that appropriate food is consistently available.
As we look to the months ahead, we know that there will be more and more need for food, especially with families. Please keep us close to your heart and continue to support this work.
And, if you see a need in the community, be sure to reach out. This challenging moment calls each of us to look out for our neighbors and engage the whole of our village.
To donate to these efforts, please click here.