September and October, 2022

Ahh, Those Summer Nights

With Halloween staring us in the face and Thanksgiving right around the corner, the halcyon days of summer already seem a distant memory. But only a few short weeks ago, we gathered at Marybeth and Chuck Alpuche's house to enjoy some great food, excellent company, and the breathtaking views afforded from Marybeth's stunning garden. Many thanks to the gracious hosts for a memorable evening! The only small glitch was that, due to an "administrative error," the availability of Mark Silverman's excellent home-made wines was not appropriately promulgated and were therefore left unconsumed. But fear not, due to the selfless actions of Pantry senior management, they did not go to waste. Hic.


In what should surely become a Daily Bread October tradition, a couple of weeks ago we handed out sugar pumpkins to all our guests. Special thanks to Gerry Hecht for handing out a delicious-looking recipe to those guests ready to move on from pumpkin pie to more adventurous cuisine. Pictured above is Mark Flanagan at the Pumpkin Dispenser, aka Mark Silverman's hard-working truck (and thank you of course to Mark S. for doing the actual pumpkin pickup). You can find Gerry's recipe by scrolling to the bottom of the Newsletter.

Survey Says??

Almost as intoxicating as Mark Silverman's carrot wine, it is easy to become drunk on our own do-gooder virtue. Hey, we are giving away fresh, healthy food to needy families, so what's not to like? Well, on the "to-do" list for 2022 was to get a reality check from our guests themselves about how well we are doing - and what we could be doing better. With the help of these friendly, multilingual (and independent!) students from WCSU, we did just that. There were some surprising findings, although a full report of the results must await another Newsletter. But not so surprising was the almost universal view that Daily Bread's volunteers are hugely appreciated for the hard work they do. We'll be making adjustments here and there to reflect the valuable feedback we received but rest assured - we are on the right track!

DoorDash Partnership

Some folks just can't make it to the Pantry, even if they are truly in need. Up until recently, the logistical challenges of serving this population were just too overwhelming for us to contemplate helping them out. But thanks to our new partnership with DoorDash, we can deliver exactly the same great food to the homebound and those folks who can't make it to our regular distributions. This service is completely free to our guests (and to Daily Bread!), so is almost too good to be true. Almost - but not quite - it is really happening! True, we are currently only able to serve a comparatively small number of guests in this way - but the potential is huge.

Website Refresh

To emphasize the variety of ways our guests can choose to receive food, we've redesigned our home page to make finding out about each option super-easy. Go on, give the screenshot a click and try it out yourself. For our non-internet savvy guests, we've been successful in getting relatives, friends, and other carers to help navigate the simple steps to make an appointment for Senior shopping, or filling out the form to request home delivery. 

Daily Bread In The News

This last month Daily Bread was featured in the influential national trade publication Food Bank News and in the more local News-Times. If I'd had editorial control, I might have changed the Food Bank headline a little, but as Oscar Wilde said, the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about. WARNING - don't click on either link if you are already a little weary of hearing your windbag President witter on.



Birthday Girl!

The Daily Bread legend and all-around superstar that is Queen Sarah Swan turned 90 years young on October 13. Not that such a milestone prevented her from putting in a solid day's work at the Pantry. Happy Belated Birthday to the lady that inspires us all!


Shhh, don't tell Connecticut Foodshare, but we have a new Food Bank partner. In September, we picked up our first vanload of food from Midwest Food Bank New England (and their volunteers even helped load the van!). With guest numbers running at all-time highs, we must seek out as many sources of food as possible, and Midwest is already proving a valuable contributor. Our once-a-month allocation is not huge volume-wise, but it provides much-needed variety to our shelves - and has been a real game-changer for the "Selection" carts. Don't worry CT Foodshare, you'll always be our main squeeze!


It's no secret we are sometimes short on transportation to move food around. Even with the help of the amazing volunteers who donate the use of their vehicles on a daily basis, we sometimes need a little extra help. Savings Bank of Danbury to the rescue again! Big Bertha is the Bank's community service vehicle, pictured here with the decidedly petite Stacy Singer, just back from completing the egg run to Ace Endico.


Is there anything more reassuring, when boarding a plane, to glance to the left and see an obviously seasoned, distinguished-looking pilot at the controls, exuding calm professionalism. Such is the confidence inspired by the volunteer spotlighted in this issue. With this guy in command, what could possibly go wrong? Click the picture to find out.



We are working hard to finalize plans for our special Thanksgiving distribution. Subject to any major changes from Connecticut Foodshare, extremely inclement weather, or the end of the world, we will hold the distribution on Monday, November 21 - starting around 11:30 AM. Guests will not have to pre-register, but will have to be in our system and have an up-to-date TEFAP attestation.

Right now we have a decent number of turkeys and chickens lined up, but we need more - and more trimmings. So now is the time to get that food drive organized!


Speaking of food drives, Food Drive Season is in full swing, and in just the last few weeks we have received some outstanding donations from our neighbors the United Jewish Center, the First Congregational Church of Ridgefield, St Joseph's Church and Immanuel Lutheran in Danbury, and Congregation Shir Shalom in Ridgefield. Pictured with just a small sample of the Congregation Shir Shalom donation is enthusiastic deliverer Elie Schecter, and no less enthusiastic Daily Bread volunteer Karen Pricken.


Elizabeth Day (C) won the best hat contest recently, in part because no one else knew there was a competition going on. Here Norma Lopez Burton (L) and Claudia Urvina (R) pose with the positively giddy winner.

Gerry's  Pumpkin Recipe

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