November & December, 2023


A Year In Three Minutes

Don't have time to read another boring year-in-review newsletter? We've got you covered! Here's a not-boring video. Best enjoyed with your device set to eleven.

Watch Now!

All The Stats You Need To Know

Video went by a little too fast? We took some notes. So here you go...

225 individuals volunteered at the Pantry in 2023. Some worked only a handful of hours. Others pretty much never left the place. And those 13,600 hours don't include the countless time spent by many volunteers doing essential work away from the Pantry - or the hours of those who forget to "clock in," thereby foregoing our generous compensation package.

That's a lot of food - around 42 pounds per familiy per visit. But more importantly, the vast majority of that food was healthy fresh produce and nutritious proteins such as eggs and milk. We even kept our egg buying program going when prices spiked 300% at the beginning of the year.

This statistic focuses on the number of different guests and families we served (this number is often referred to as "unique" guests). If we count dupicated visits, we welcomed guests over 32,000 times! For the math-challenged, that means the average number of visits per guest was around seven.

The big jump here is because 2023 was the first full year of "Senior Shopping" distributions on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and also the first full year of our home delivery program. These programs do not have a massive effect on total guest numbers, but they are a valuable extension of the services we offer.


Thanksgiving Distribution

You guessed it, our 2023 Thanksgiving distribution was a record. 755 guests served - a 34% increase over 2022 (535 guests served). Special mention once again goes to D&S Pump for "topping off" our stash of turkeys with an additional one hundred birds. Sixty volunteers worked their you-know-what's off to make it all happen. There's a picture gallery of the proceedings on our website, but if you watched the video, you'll have already gotten the idea. And all volunteers received a gracious pardon from the Honorable Bertram Pop-Up Timer. If you helped out at the distribution, and have not picked up your customized pardon, it is in the Pantry.

Van Featured In Food Bank News!

Frankly, the van is a little too fond of the limelight, so it may not be wise to be giving it more oxygen. On the other hand, publicity for the van is publicity for Daily Bread, and Food Bank News is the go-to nationwide resource in the food insecurity world. Click on the picture to read the story.

Library Talk

If you think these newsletters are a little dry, you were probably wise to skip the Death-By-PowerPoint experience served up at the Danbury Public Library earlier this month. And you were in good company, with 99.999% of Danbury area residents also unaccountably finding better things to do on a rainy Wednesday evening. Luckily, Daily Bread's President is easily entertained, especially by his own voice, so we'll still call it a success.

Danbury Garden Club Luncheon

The Danbury Garden Club, and many of its members, are long-standing supporters of Daily Bread. Gardener extraordinaire Marybeth Alpuche and daughter Becky were in town on a flying visit, so what better excuse for an impromptu gathering of Daily Breaders? It was a spectacular affair ("luncheon" doesn't quite capture it), with celebrity floral designer Ruth Loiseau throwing together a few casual displays while fielding questions about her decades-long stint at the White House.

Holiday Distribution

With temperatures hovering in the high teens and Santa a no-show (felled by COVID), you'd expect a downbeat last distribution before Christmas. Not a bit of it! Spirits were indeed high, as the News-Times reported, buoyed up by gingerbread houses, adorable pineapple owls, and delightful gift bags made up by third-graders from Stadley Rough Elementary School (thank you to them, teacher Mrs Ireland, and volunteer-mom Andrea Hayden).

Finally, a personal thank you

When I was writing the "2022 Wrapped" edition of this newsletter, I did not think we could work harder, or serve any more people, than we did a year ago. I was wrong. Quite simply, we blew the doors off 2022.

We also experienced some sadness - most notably the loss of Sarah Swan - but we responded as the family we are, and we honor her memory by continuing the work she cared about so passionately. Other volunteers have struggled with serious ill health, or have lost their closest loved ones. And yet still those same volunteers showed up with a smile, ready to help others in need.

Modifying only slightly what I said last year, let me close with this final thought:

Daily Bread is not a building, nor our somewhat battered equipment, nor even our shiny new electric van. Daily Bread is its volunteers, and there are no finer human beings on the planet. My sincere thanks to every one of you.

Peter Kent

December 26, 2023

203-826-8252 | [email protected] |

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