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.
Here’s to another great year at the Pantry!
Volunteer From The Heart “Profile Series”
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 From The Heart “Profile Series”