Janet Kaufman recently received an update from our friends of Bridgeport UCC, about the powerful ministries they are doing through nOURish BRIDEport.
It was a pleasure speaking with you over the telephone recently. I hope this email finds all of you and your families at Salisbury Congregational Church well!
The impact of Covid-19 has left many of our local neighbors in isolation; without jobs, transportation and funding, which has created a much larger number of families, in desperate need of emergency food. We at nOURish BRIDGEPORT knew we had to find a quick, yet safe way to feed people, since all of our present programs had to be suspended.
This is how we responded:
Neighbor to Neighbor Food Program:
In early April, once it was no longer safe to continue our weekly indoor Food Pantry, we launched our “Neighbor to Neighbor” Food Program that provided food to those in need, in a safe, quick and convenient way. We were quickly able to train staff who shopped, ordered and scheduled the contact-less delivery of groceries directly from a local grocer to the doorstep of our neighbors in need. Local donations provided groceries to local families, WHILE at the same time, helping to support a local grocer. We also had a few sponsors who both shopped and paid for grocery deliveries.
Through generous donations, like the one from Salisbury Congregational Church, our Neighbor to Neighbor Program was able to provide regular grocery deliveries to 68 needy families (approximately 300 individuals), while also providing an additional 25 families with staples and produce, through our Make-Shift Pantry at Bessemer, with volunteers delivering bags of food.
Drive-Thru Food Pantry:
In June, we opened our Drive-Thru Food Pantry, that is currently available every Monday to anyone in need. Our neighbors are now able to drive right up, have groceries, diapers and wipes placed right in the trunk of their car, by a volunteer, and then drive right on out, without ever having to get out of their car…keeping everyone distanced and safe! In addition, we safely serve those who come by foot and deliver to a few families that are home bound. We are currently serving up to 80 families (approximately 340 individuals) each week.
MEAL SLIDE PROGRAM:
Our weekly Thursday night “Feel the Warmth” Community Supper Program also closed down temporarily, due to Covid and was replaced with our “Meal Slide” Program. Prepared meals are safely distributed to those in need, while practicing social distancing, in a safe way, by sliding meals down a 6 foot table, into the trunk of a car or into the hands of a walk up. Every Thursday, there are 250 home-cooked, hot meals provided to 4 different transitional housing apartment buildings and other local neighbors in need. Another 235 frozen-meals or sandwiches are provided on Fridays – 485 total Meals – all through the Drive-Thru or Walk-Up Meal Slide Program at Nourish Bridgeport. “Feel the Warmth” has taken on a whole new population in need.
Attached, please find a few pictures of our work, that you are more than welcome to share. We are so grateful for all of the support from Salisbury Congregational Church and look forward to the day, when we are able to serve our community, side by side, once again! Until then, we wish you all well.
Operations & Volunteers
nOURish BRIDGEPORT Inc.