September and October, 2023

Up In The Air

It's hard to capture the scale of our Tuesday and Friday distributions, but this drone picture, taken on October 17, gives you an idea. We served 348 families that day, fairly typical at the moment. So the guests you see lining up here are by no means all.

Thank you to Lea Dexter's husband Bill for organizing the photo session, and to drone pilot Owen for getting this (and many other) great shots.

Annual Guest Survey

In a tradition dating all the way back to 2022, every year we ask our guests a few questions aimed at finding out a little more about them. Guests completing the survey receive a free pineapple - which hopefully doesn't skew the results too much. Once again, we were very lucky to have some enthusiastic (and multilingual) students and staff from Western Connecticut State University conduct the survey for us.

The Daily Bread Data Science Team is still analyzing the results, but here are a few highlights:

  • Eggs, milk, meat, and fresh produce are far and away the most appreciated items (in that order).
  • Although most guests arrive in cars, a substantial minority (23%) walk.
  • Despite our limited opening hours, very few guests said the times were inconvenient.
  • 90% of guests have a smartphone or other internet access
  • Guests are split pretty evenly about whether they prefer our current "grab and go" model or in-pantry shopping
  • Only a small number of guests receive SNAP or WIC nutrition assistance.
  • Very few guests claim to visit other pantries.
  • Guests overwhelmingly rated Daily Bread volunteers as polite and helpful. Yeah us!

Awards and Recognition

In September, we were honored to receive a Community Hero award from the New American Dream Foundation. At a gala attended by the great and the good in Danbury and beyond, we were also presented with Certificates of Special Recognition from Senator Richard Blumenthal and Congresswoman Jahana Hayes. And we got a Citation from the Connecticut General Assembly (which is the good type of citation, btw). If only we had any spare wall space to display all these honors...

As an added bonus, the New American Dream Foundation made a video about the Pantry, now available on our website and YouTube channel.

Emanuela Palmares, Vice President of the NADF, Peter Kent, President of Daily Bread, and Martin Morgado, CEO of Savings Bank of Danbury


In another tradition dating back to 2022, we once again handed out pumpkins at a recent distribution. Michael and Denise make sure everyone takes only uno por hogar.

Live Aid 2023

There are lots of ways to raise money to address hunger, but what better way than with classic rock music? Hey, it worked at the original Live Aid back in 1985, and it worked for Daily Bread just the other day. Local favorites Logical Pretzel played an amazing set at Sugar Hollow Tap Room, with 50% of the door proceeds going straight to us. If you missed the concert, check the band out here and catch them next time they play - even if we don't get half of the moolah.

Thanksgiving Plans

Pardon Me? Pardon YOU!

Our special Thanksgiving distribution will take place on Monday, November 20. This year, we've been working with leaders in the turkey community to develop our own version of the "Turkey Pardoning" ceremony that takes place at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

In the Washington version, the pardoned bird is generally blameless - and indeed is selected for its exemplary character. Like much of what goes on in the Nation's capital, this makes no sense - because while the U.S. Constitution gives the President broad pardoning authority, it extends only to "Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States..." So pardoning an innocent bird isn't even legal. "The whole thing is a travesty," said Karen Oven-Ready, a lawyer for the turkeys, in a recent Zoom meeting.

To address this issue, we proposed that the President of Daily Bread should pardon a felonious bird, nominated by the turkeys themselves. But this idea prompted much eye-rolling from the turkeys, who were turning out to be far more savvy negotiators than we anticipated "Why would you pardon one bad apple and not millions of perfectly law-abiding turkeys?" asked Herbert Salmonella, an older turkey who unaccountably had been left unsold for a number of Thanksgivings. Good question, Herb.

Sensing she had us on the ropes, Ms. Oven-Ready then pointed out that Daily Bread's Charter (effectively, our Constitution) contained no pardoning powers at all, whether by the President or anyone else. There was no obvious response to this objection, but as luck would have it, just at that moment, someone accidentally clicked the "End Meeting" button.

With more time to think, the solution was right in front of us. We'd had it the wrong way round all along! For our ceremony, a turkey should pardon the President of Daily Bread!! He certainly had plenty of things to be pardoned for, so there was no issue there. Would it stand up in court? Perhaps not, but it couldn't hurt.

"Finally, we have a ceremony that makes sense," said Larry Butterball, spokesperson for the turkeys. "We look forward to a long and productive relationship with Daily Bread" he continued, blithely unaware of his precarious existence.

The Honorable Bertram PopUp-Timer, Chief Justice of the Turkey Supreme Court,

will issue the pardon at 10:00 O'Clock sharp on November 20.

Food Drives

It's food drive season, and we've already had some great donations. We can't mention them all here, but we are deeply grateful for every one. And of course, we are equally grateful to the individuals, Houses of Worship, and other organizations that bring in food year-round.

Stop & Shop/NBC/Telemundo

We started off in a big way with the Feeding Our Families drive on September 9. Twenty Daily Bread volunteers staffed up the event and we collected a van load of food, plus over $1,000!

Celia, Pattie, Pattie's therapy dog Sophie, and Denise make sure no one escapes without donating

The Botanist

The Botanist hosted a three-day food drive to celebrate their opening anniversary. One of our more mellow drives, but manager Laura (pictured) and the rest of the staff pulled out all the stops to make sure the drive was a huge success!

The Dawg House

Mill Plain Road wasn't done with us just yet, and shortly after The Botanist drive, Jess from The Dawg House organized a rolling drive over a couple of weeks. Her generous clients brought in an enormous amount of great food.

Congregation Shir Shalom

Once again, the wonderful folks at Congregation Shir Shalom in Ridgefield collected a HUGE amount of food during their annual High Holy Days drive. Not only that, the two ladies who brought it over (Sharon and Diana, pictured above) signed up as volunteers on the spot! Double win!!

United Jewish Center

In a second appearance of Mark Silverman's hardworking truck in this edition (see Pumpkinfest, above) here's a photo of the truck with just some of the food collected during the United Jewish Center's recent drive. Thank you, everyone at the UJC!

Newtown Lions Club

On a very rainy Saturday, the Newtown Lions Club held their inaugural "Stuff-A-Truck" food drive at the Newtown Big Y. Helped by Big Y's very generous shoppers, and with logistical support from the US Army's 411th Civil Affairs Battalion, the Club showed how a food drive should be done - and even had some fun despite the inclement weather.

Lebanon-American Club

Our friends and neighbors - and fellow honorees at the New American Dream Foundation Gala - held an ongoing food drive throughout September to benefit the Pantry. And the Club is still delivering all the food collected even as we approach the end of October.

Chuck's Steak House

Not strictly a food drive, but a donation worthy of mention because it marks the end of a Danbury institution. The Zaccara family, who have run Chuck's Steak House since 1973, closed the restaurant earlier this month (it will be reopened under new ownership). They had lots of inventory left over, and generously offered it to us and other area agencies. We were only too happy to accept!

And Finally...

If you are helping at Tuesday's distribution, please come dressed appropriately. Which you may interpret in any manner you choose.

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