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From the pallet of the President


Another winter of outside distributions is behind us, and we can enjoy a few weeks of decent weather before it gets too hot. If it doesn't rain, that is.

In this issue, we look a little more closely at our supply chain, pay tribute to volunteers who serve on the very front line of distributions, acknowledge some amazing donations, and generally get you all caught up with all the latest goings-on at the Pantry.



April is the cruelest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.

Winter kept us warm, covering

Earth in forgetful snow, feeding

A little life with dried tubers.

T.S. Eliot "Ode to the Rutabaga"

Rutabaga sits in the old Pan-tree!

Merry, merry King of the Veg is he!

Laugh, Rutabaga,

Laugh, Rutabaga,

Uneaten you shall be!

M. Johnson "The Rutabaga Song"

These two poems, one arguably more accomplished than the other, perfectly capture the Pantry's zeitgeist over the last few weeks. But now winter is over, what is it still with all these "dried tubers?"

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Some distribution jobs are harder than others. Hardest of all, perhaps, is maintaining some semblance of order on Terrace Place. Part United Nations peacekeeper, part remedial driving instructor, part guest relations manager, part goodness knows what else, it is certainly not a role for the fainthearted.

Pictured here are Juan Carlos Regalado and the OG of all line/parking attendants, Jane "the enforcer" Alexander. Much respect to both of them, and to the other street regulars, Andrea de Lange and Gretchen Kennedy-Graber. Thank you for your service!

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Singling out particular donations is a dangerous game. But since danger is practically our middle name (have you seen Mercedes Cabrera try and park?), let's do it! Of course, we are extremely grateful for ALL donations - these just happen to be two that were documented with a photo recently.

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Savings Bank of Danbury is the perfect neighbor. They are a steadfast financial supporter, but also have an engaged and caring workforce. In March alone, the Bank recognized our work in 2021 with a generous Community Grant AND organized a food drive to keep our shelves stocked with a "Cookies, Condiments and Coffee" food drive. Special shout-out to Beth Ann Fetzer for delivering!

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The splendid Ridgefield Thrift Shop generously funds our "Personal Care Program," allowing us to buy much-needed items not available through SNAP (food stamps) or other government initiatives. A couple of weeks ago, RTS held a reception to recognize its 2022 grant recipients. The Prosecco flowed freely, and the appetizers were delicious. Yep, being the President of Daily Bread can be a tough job, but someone has to do it.


A few of the many exciting things that went down at the Pantry in the last couple of months.


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After a spell in the hospital and a hard road to recovery, Miguel Chanchavac made a welcome return to the Pantry. The outpouring of support for Miguel from the Daily Bread family was truly heartwarming, proving once again that we are the greatest bunch of volunteers ever. At least. (Pictured here with Debbie Fantel).


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We have recently launched two programs for our senior (65+) guests. Instead of waiting in line at our regular distributions, they can now book an appointment to come to the Pantry and select the food they would like. And thanks to a grant from United Way of Western Connecticut, we have been able to purchase a fleet of heavy-duty shopping carts to give to our more frequent senior guests.


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Our somewhat loosey-goosey Friday music sessions went social with a new collaborative playlist organized by Elizabeth "DJ Masterflash" Day. Props to everyone who has gotten involved so far and suggested some absolute bangers. All killa, no filla, as the kids say. It's not too late to get in on the fun and add your faves. Extra points for food-themed tracks.


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For those with more refined tastes, our April 22 distribution saw another first for the Pantry - live music from talented musician sisters Norma Lopez Burton and Myrna Lopez Mattos. Waiting in line is never huge fun, but listening to a selection of popular flute duets on a beautiful spring day calms the soul and sure makes the time go by faster. Thank you Norma and Myrna!


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Thank you to everyone who completed the annual civil rights training. You may recall that "early completers" are entered into a Prize Draw. This year's winner of a $50 gift certificate from The Radical Tea Towel Company is... Gretchen Kennedy-Graber.

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It pains me to report that I have received a number of complaints about words chosen for Daily Breadle. "Offal," "Scran," and "Porky" come to mind. Such complaints are completely without merit, and have been summarily dismissed with prejudice. So ruled. Just click on the picture to play.

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Quick reminder: if you would like to take a refresher on when to throw out food, or food safety more generally, there are some excellent resources on the Connecticut Foodshare website. You can even take a quiz and receive a magnificent certificate suitable for framing.

The sharp-eyed among you may have noticed that the format of the Newsletter has been changed. This is in accordance with the Pantry philosophy that "If it ain't broken, we'll fix it until it is." If you can think of anything else that doesn't need fixing - or even, I suppose, something that does - feel free to smash the button below.

My Two Cents

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