Food Pantry Turns 4 | Our Daily Bread Food Pantry marco Island

Our Daily Bread Food Pantry Turns Four!

Happy Birthday: Our Daily Bread Food Pantry Turns Four!
If you’ve been a volunteer very long with us, you know we love to celebrate! Whether it’s a our bi-weekly Volunteer Social Hour on Marco Island or our annual Volunteer Appreciation Party, we are eager to honor milestones and the people who make them possible.

This year marks four years since our story began… Our History

And to honor the occasion, we would like to take a look back at how far we’ve come and just how much we’ve grown! Without further ado, and by the numbers, Our Daily Bread Food Pantry has:

  • In the past four years, we have decreased food insecurity in over 18,9000 households. That means 18,900 households in the Marco Island and Naples areas had peace of mind with stocked cupboards and refrigerators.
  • In 2016, we served 3600 people. In 2020, we are on course to serve 33,000 people!
  • In 2019, we had our first matching donor and successfully fundraised with local organizations. We also were awarded our 501 (C) (3) status enabling all contributions to be tax-deductible.

 

While it’s been a busy few years of growth, we don’t plan on slowing down in 2020. As our history has shown us, none of what we’ve accomplished or what we will accomplish this year would be possible without community support and our volunteers. The needs of our neighbors are real and critical. And we know that together, we can work to wipe out hunger!

 

This year, we’ve identified three key needs that, when filled, will propel us forward as we celebrate every guest who comes through our doors or visits our mobile pantry van.

  • One 40,000kw Generator: This generator will enable us to be fully prepared during storm season. In 2017, following Hurricane Irma, the Pantry was a first responder collaborating with the Red Cross and The Salvation Army in the days immediately after the hurricane’s passing. When storms come, we are a recognized emergency services provider. This generator would enable us to stock and keep fresh food as well as operate electric in an outage.

 

  • A Brick & Mortar Location in East Naples or South Naples: Eighty (80%) percent of our guests live in East Naples and we know the need is greater than what we see just two Saturdays a month and on our Mobile Pantry routes. A location in East Naples or South Naples would enable us to expand our services to areas most in need.

 

  • Additional Sources of Food & Produce at Cost or Below Cost: While we have a strong network of Partners including Midwest Food Bank, The Harry Chapin Food Bank and Collier Harvest Foundation, the number of guests exceeds the amount of food provided through our network. Each week, we purchase hundreds of dollars of food, produce and hygiene items to stock the shelves. With the addition of low cost sources, we would increase efficiency and effectiveness by stretching donation dollars further and providing even more items to families in need.

We would love to opportunity to speak with you further about volunteering, giving and any questions you might have.  Please reach out to us through our Contact Form and you will receive a personal response from one of our staff or Directors soon.

Here’s to another great year at the Pantry!

Volunteer Mike Carrying Food Boxes | Our Daily Bread Food Pantry Marco Island

Defining Success: What Volunteer Mike Believes is the Pantry’s Key Ingredient

Part 3:

Volunteer From The Heart “Profile Series”

Continuing our series of “Volunteer from the Heart “profiles, we wanted to get volunteer Mike’s thoughts on what success means at the Pantry. Mike is one of our strong volunteers who lends his muscle to transporting and processing food. Each week, we pick up thousands of pounds of food from our Partners as far away as Fort Myers. Once the food is picked up, it is then transported back to Marco Island where is is unloaded, sorted and stored in fridges, freezers and shelves. We will let Mike explain more…
Mike, how did you first hear about the Pantry?

I had seen signs about the pantry around the Island.  I was looking for volunteer opportunities and signed up for “Volunteer Match”.  I received an email that listed various volunteer possibilities and Our Daily Bread was one of them and I filled out an application.

 

Where did you begin? In other words, how’d you start volunteering?

At various times in my life I have had the free time that allowed me to volunteer.  When we moved to Marco full-time a few years ago, I was still working remotely.  Once that is finished, I decided I wanted to do things, while I still can, that give me enjoyment and help others.

 

Tell us more about your volunteer role.

This is totally new for me.  In some ways, I am the “muscle” that helps move stuff where it is needed.  I help unload stuff, and then help move it where it is needed.  I also volunteer on Pantry day which involves helping distribute food.  You get to interact with the guests and sometimes learn their stories.

What was your first day volunteering like?

My first day was a little overwhelming in that I had a preconception of what was involved that was nothing like reality.  It takes a lot of people working in tandem doing multiple tasks to make the Pantry a success.

You mentioned success and how all the volunteers work together. What impacts you the most about watching Pantry Days unfold?

How involved some of the volunteers are with the guests.  They really get to know them and are able to anticipate some of their needs and they watch out for them and make sure that they continue to receive assistance if needed.

 

Is there anything you’d like to tell prospective volunteers?

You will always feel after working a shift that you have done something that will help someone or their whole family.  No task is too small and each needs to be done to make the pantry a success.  

Fantastic insights, Mike, and thank you! If you are looking for a way to make meaningful impact in our community, we invite you to join our vital team of volunteers. Please fill out the volunteer application available here and you will receive an email with open dates and times to join in. If you’d like your story to be featured, please reach out to Liz Pecora, Director of Communications, or fill out our “Contact Us Form

Volunteer Nadia | Our Daily Bread Food Pantry Marco Island

Three Years Strong: What Keeps Volunteer Nadia Motivated

Part 2:

Volunteer From The Heart “Profile Series”

As Part 2 of our Volunteer From The Heart “Profile Series”, we are eager to introduce you to Nadia. Her infectious joy is best experienced in person, but we are bringing you the next best thing. Before the next Pantry Day, we bring you Nadia’s take on a typical volunteering day impressions…