From the pallet of the President


As a small child, when my peers were quizzing their parents with annoying questions such as "Why is the sky blue" and the even more troublesome "Where did my baby sister come from," I was preoccupied with why the six o'clock news was always 30 minutes long.

The quantity of news was a variable, I reasoned, and yet 30 minutes was an immutable constant of the Universe (I was not yet acquainted with General Relativity).

Older and wiser, I now realize the paradox is more easily resolved by semantics than physics. Faced with the need to crank out a Newsletter with little to report, we simply adjust our understanding of news.


Before stretching the definition of news to within an inch (25mm) of its life, let me return to the small anecdote above. For some reason, I did not pursue the matter with my parents. Which is a pity, because they might possibly have remembered, as small children themselves, April 18, 1930. On that day, the BBC actually announced "Today there is no news." The rest of the scheduled news program was filled with piano music. True story, you can look it up! 

In case you prefer those simpler times, or have no desire to see a picture of a volunteer with a box on her head, scroll no further and make like it's 1930 all over again.  Actually, do at least scroll quickly to the end of this Newsletter and sign the petition to save the UCONN Extension Master Gardener Program (if you didn't already sign the paper version).


Whose heart would not melt at the picture of this fresh-baked little nugget, ably being taken care of by our greeter and line manager extraordinaire Gerry Hecht. (Picture credit goes to former director and registration Tsarina, Hansel Scherwenik, who made a much welcome visit to make sure standards were not slipping at the Pantry after her move away).

A little babysitting while mom collects some healthy and nutritious food? Yep, we do that!


On the subject of los bebés, anyone with kids will remember how eye-wateringly expensive diapers can be - really putting a dent in tight family budgets. Each Tuesday and Friday morning, a lady drops off three huge boxes of diapers - usually so early they are waiting for us when we arrive. This lady - an angel really - waives away any type of acknowledgment. But her unassuming kindness somehow embodies everything that makes the Pantry such a great place.


Despite "constructive criticism" about the color, cut, style, material and design of the 2022 Daily Bread

T-shirts, they are pretty much all gone. I guess one should never underestimate how many drawbacks can be overlooked when the word "free" enters into the equation!

Not just for wearing around the Pantry, they make great conversation starters when out and about. So take a picture of yourself wearing the shirt while not at the Pantry and share it with me using the "My Two Cents" button at the bottom of this Newsletter.

The picture taken in the most unusual/exotic/amusing location wins a prize TBD (and will appear in the next Newsletter). Bonus points for food-related subjects.

Here I set the bar extremely low with a picture taken in Frosty's Donut Shop in Brunswick, Maine. Don't tell me you can't do better than that!


No, we are not giving away free pups, though these cuties sure put a smile on everyone's face when they paid us a visit recently.

L to R, Paisley, Jenny (human), Bentley and our very own Denise Kane, bravely ignoring the showbiz mantra to never appear with children or animals.


As reported in the last Newsletter, our "Shopping Carts for Seniors" program was a huge success. Unfortunately, a possible side affect was that there may have been some confusion about title to our own shopping carts.

In quick succession, we lost two or three carts, a non-sustainable rate of attrition.Hi-Tech solutions such as GPS tracking and tethering to the the Pantry with long pieces of string were rejected in favor of making them less attractive and/or easily distinguishable. So if you see any bright pink carts doing the rounds in Danbury, let us know!

Yep, accidentally painted my driveway a bit too. I was gonna get it repaved anyway.


With rutabaga featuring less often at distributions these days, the Produce Team has turned to carrots for root-vegetable entertainment.

A proposal to establish a Daily Bread Museum of Odd-Shaped Vegetables was nixed by the Daily Bread HR Department. Hardly surprising, given that the pictures used to advance the proposal (taken by our Carrot Merriment Officer, Elizabeth Day) were distinctly NSFW. But here's one that is just about suitable for inclusion in a family Newsletter. Let's just ignore the potatoes, shall we?

An appropriate caption for this delightful picture of Anne Gilson, taken by the CMO, completely eludes me. The stuff of nightmares doesn't even begin to cover it.


Hansel was not the only former director to make a welcome return this summer. Juan Medrano jetted in from Lima, Peru to "help" at several distributions.

Providing yet more heartburn to HR, and for reasons known only to himself, Juan put an empty box of sweet potatoes on Marinete Cunha's head. Either he chose his victim very wisely or he got very lucky. Marinete took it all in good spirits. Trying the same trick with Mercedes Cabrera might not have ended so well.



Of course, even when there is little real news, the work of the Pantry continues - and our friends in the local community continue to find new ways to support us. On a recent Saturday, Mutual Security Credit Union's Danbury branch held a "Shred and Food Drive" Day, renting a huge mobile shredder and asking folks to donate a few cans of food in exchange for safely disposing of sensitive documents.

Special shout-out to Branch Manager Sherry Tavella for all her hard work to organize the event - and adding in a generous cash donation to boot!


Speaking of amazing financial institutions, Savings Bank of Danbury is not only a major sponsor, our neighbor, and the Pantry's own bank, but is also now a great source of hard-working volunteers.

Pictured here at a recent distribution are Natali Rodriguez (L) and SBD's AVP/Community Development Officer Stacy Singer.


Last but by no means least, we received yet another very generous donation from Union Savings Bank Foundation. The timing was impeccable, because we'd just been turned down for a major grant from the Connecticut Dept. of Agriculture - an application that took many long days to put together. Remarkable how a totally unexpected check can completely change your mood!

Pictured here are Michele Bonvicini, USB Foundation Executive Director and Jeff McDonough, USB Executive Vice President, Human Resources & Community Relations. 


Side Note: All this support from these great organizations might suggest we are drowning in money. But we are spending around fifteen times as much on food as in pre-pandemic times, and far more than we ever did on equipment, rent, utilities and other costs. In a nutshell, we need all the help we can get, and we can only continue to operate on our present scale with the continued assistance of each and every one of our supporters - businesses, houses of worship, foundations, retail partners, individuals and others who don't fit easily into any of these categories. I wanted to highlight these three organizations not only because of their recent contributions, but also because, while they might compete to some extent for your business, they all share the same commitment to helping those in need. 



We are also incredibly grateful to all our retail store partners that donate huge amounts of food every week. While perhaps not our largest donor, Whole Foods almost always wins the most unusual donation competition. Just plucking one eggsample from a recent contribution, we received dozens of super premium heirloom eggs - and they were BLUE! No yolk, you'd have to shell out a lot more than chicken feed to buy them in the store. 

Here, the eggscellent Pattie Thompson and Marybeth Alpuche marvel at such wondrousness.


A picture of my cat Ernie. Nothing to do with the Pantry really, except that he gets a lot of free food.

Since I have temporarily suspended the Volunteer Spotlight feature, how about a Volunteer's Pet Spotlight feature? Even when there is more news of substance to report, I'm thinking this could be a popular Newsletter item. 

So as with the T-Shirt competition, send me a picture of your favorite furball by hitting the "My Two Cents" button and see him/her/they included in the next issue. You know you want to!


OK, let's get serious for a minute. As many of you know, we receive a fantastic array of super-fresh produce from the Master Gardener Program and Fairfield Country Demonstration Garden in Bethel. This produce comes to us quite literally minutes from when it was harvested, and we distribute nothing finer than this hyper-local food.

For reasons that have not been explained, the owner of the property wants to find alternative uses for the land, destroying years of work to make the garden what it is today.

These Programs have been true supporters of Daily Bread and the needy communities we serve for many years. Now it is our turn to help them. If you have not already signed the paper petition circulated at the Pantry, please sign the petition on-line here. Thank you!

If you are dismayed at the lack of hard news, Pantry statistics, thoughtful articles on food insecurity, Board updates, and so on and so forth, you only have a couple of months to wait until the next issue. Or perhaps you prefer your Newsletters frothy and filled with recycled content from old social media posts?

Smash that My Two Cents Button and let me know!

My Two Cents
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