Director's Monthly Service Report

March 2021

 

Hi Everyone,

 

 I hope you all have a wonderful and joyous holiday Easter/ Passover season.

 

During March, we were convinced the stimulus payments slowed down the visitors (that is a good thing), but as the month progressed, the needs of our guests ramped up and we finished with the second largest output of food in our history.

 

We gave direct in-house assistance to 100 families comprising of 412 individuals.

 

As we approach one year since our re-opening on April 28th last year after a six-week lockdown and a complete leadership restructure and retooling of how we deliver our services and interact with our guests, we have served 820 families comprising of 3066 individuals. Those numbers are unmatched in the 63-year history of our organization and we still have almost a full month to go to complete the year.

 

In March, we also partnered with two food distribution groups sending over 4000 lbs. of food to Klinger's Farmer's Market in Southampton and The Healing Center Community Church in Levittown.

 

Our baskets tip the scales at 200 lbs. with fresh produce, frozen foods, meats, dairy, and grocery food items.

 

All in, we are estimating 24,000 lbs. of output for March including the baskets and the assistance to other food providers.

 

Our generous donors provided over 9600 lbs. of food this month and the remainder, especially the fresh and frozen foods which are rarely donated, we purchased through the support of our cash donors.

 

 

Coming up in April, we are looking forward to our Spring Food Distribution Event.

 

We are making a large purchase partnering with Shop Rite in Warminster and again our gracious host will be the people and parish of Nativity of Our Lord in Warminster.  We hope that this event will have great success and lead to a long-term strategic relationship with a family-owned local business who genuinely cares about our local neighborhood.

 

We are also looking forward to the hands and feet that our good friends at Warminster Rotary bring.  They have supported us with their time, talents, and treasure, in all three of our major distribution events.

 

Here is the link to our event:

 

https://www.warminsterfoodbank.org/spring-food-giveaway/

 

As always, you are the greatest and kindest people I have ever been associated with. Together, we have done a great service for families in need, and we have more to do. I know you will answer the call.

 

 

February 2021

 

 February started slow because of the weather. However, our great volunteers braved the cold and the snow to have only one closure date on Monday the 8th due to the weather.
 
 By the end of the month we were back up to full speed with our guests by providing direct onsite service to 86 families representing 356 individuals.
 
Our support to other food assistance providers continued this month with large donations to Klinger Farmers Market, serving 100s of families in Lower Bucks County, and Willow Grove Baptist, serving families in Willow Grove, Roslyn, and Crestmont, along with some critically needed financial support to our namesake Warminster Food Bank in England.
 
This month we began our first Saturday operating hours on February 6th.  Very few, if any, local food assistance organizations offer a Saturday option for those in need.
 
With a great assist from Warminster Rotary, an acquisition of new freezer and refrigerator units was possible.
 
We tripled our storage capacity and expanded our market basket to include fresh produce such Apples, Bananas, Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, and Celery.
 
Frozen Foods we offer meats, ground meat, frozen vegetables (way less sodium than canned)  and some fun items including Chicken Nuggets, Tater Tots, Pizza Rolls, and also some Vegan options including Beyond Meat Burgers.
 
Refrigerated Foods, we offered Eggs, Butter, Cheese, and sometimes through USDA, Yogurt and Milk.
 
With support from Bucks County and United Way, we have expanded our Vegan and Gluten Free options for those guests who have special dietary needs.
 
In our food assistance, no longer is the attitude, ("Take what we give you")  We all work so hard to design a market basket that works well on a meal planning basis and gives our guests the respect and the dignity they deserve. ("How can we help you?").
 
Our average market basket in February tipped the scales at 199 pounds of food per family.
 
As always, the extraordinary dedication of our volunteers and staff, and the support of our donors, has made this all possible. We are redefining and elevating the Food Assistance experience for our guests.

 

January 2021

Greetings to all, 

 

January was slightly less busy than December. Among those coming directly to the Food Bank to pick up food, we served 94 families comprising of 350 individuals. 

 

Through our continuing support to other groups in need, we provided food for 150 families through Klinger Middle School (Centennial School District), 40 families through Willow Grove Baptist Food Pantry, and 35 families through Warminster Heights Senior Center. We also provided logistical and operational support to Bucks County Family Services and collaborated with their Langhorne area food pantry. 

 

All in, we distributed about 22,000 lbs of food in January. We have distributed more food in the past three months than we did for all of 2019.

 

All our volunteers have worked so hard, especially those that were there with us before the pandemic who all had to adapt to a much different pace and protocol than they were accustomed. We thank them all for their patience and service. In their service to our community, they have what the ancient Greeks called Agape. Love as an action. It takes Courage, Commitment, and Sacrifice. 

 

We are dedicated to serve food insecurity needs in our local community, but in January we expanded our footprint slightly...

 

Early in the month we received an interesting voicemail message from a woman who had a lovely English accent, sounding like Downton Abbey on PBS. It turns out the woman was mistakenly calling our food bank while trying to reach the Warminster District Food Bank located in Warminster, England. 

 

Her message told an all too familiar story of being locked down because of health issues, both husband and son out of work, and with the son just getting over Coronavirus. She was asking for desperately needed food assistance. 

 

Hearing the phone message, we felt bad the woman was confused and needed help. So, we decided to help. 

 

We called the UK based Warminster Food bank and we introduced ourselves as the Warminster Food Bank in the USA. We were introduced to Kieran Thorburn and Ryan Child who direct Food Operations there, told them the story of the mistaken indentity from their local family that needed help, and told them we wanted to help. They were thrilled to hear from us, very grateful for the offer, and are sending us their account information. We will be wiring over some funds to purchase a food basket comparable in size to the basket we give out to our guests, to support the woman and her family. 

 

Below is a link to the Warminster England Food Bank: 

http://www.warminsteranddistrictfoodbank.co.uk/

 

Regards,

Mike Cerino

Director, Coordinating Council for Health and Welfare

Warminster Food Bank 

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