2014 Annual Report
DUBLIN FOOD PANTRY ANNUAL REPORT 2014
The Dublin Food Pantry (DFP) provided food for 9,050 individuals in 2014. An average of 238 households visited the Pantry each month; more than 53% of these households had children under the age of 18 years. The remaining households had no children or were households of senior citizens; there was a slight rise in the number of senior citizens needing assistance as compared with the previous year. DFP provided food for over 136,000 meals in 2014.
A total of 302 households received food at the annual Harvest of Hope (HOH) Thanksgiving distribution to needy families the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The distribution provided a sumptuous dinner plus additional fresh fruit, vegetables, and produce. DFP is grateful to the Dublin Community Church (DCC) members for providing funds to purchase the highlight of the meal...turkeys.
This year an effort was made to reach out to three schools in the Dublin district that have a 50% poverty rate and invite them to the HOH distribution. The DFP Leadership team worked with school guidance counselors to identify needy families, to contact them, and to encourage them to come to the Harvest of Hope for food.
DFP is experiencing an increase in the need for food by those who are working minimum wage jobs that do not pay enough to cover life's basic necessities, the elderly whose savings are depleted and whose investments are yielding meager returns, and immigrants who do not yet have command of the language and job skills necessary for employment.
DFP continues to provide food for those who are unemployed because of down-sizing and poor health, those who do not have the necessary skills for employment, and those in crisis because of death of a provider, divorce, abandonment, and financial problems arising from unexpected health care costs and other life emergencies.
The DFP client waiting area in the Goodwill Room continues to be used on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. The room is set up with tables and chairs and clients are invited to have coffee and refreshment and visit while they wait their turn to shop. DFP is very grateful to DCC for this additional space that encourages socialization and makes the difficult experience of going to a food pantry easier.
We are receiving 90% of our needed meat supply from five primary grocer donors. Not only is this a tremendous financial savings, but the surplus meat is exactly what any consumer would purchase at their store; it is high-quality meat and in addition is prepackaged so our kitchen crew does not have to spend time breaking down bulk meat.
We have also been extremely fortunate to have more food drives and individual contributions of food this year. This saves DFP from purchasing food from the Mid-Ohio Food Bank (MOFB) and has the added advantage of receiving quality brands of donated canned goods as opposed to purchasing off-brands from the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. In 2014, the DFP received 124 tons of donated food.
Volunteers continue to make 28 pick-ups of surplus food from area supermarkets/restaurants each week. Our donors are Giant Eagle, Whole Foods, Fresh Thyme Market, GFS, Trader Joe's, Bob Evans, Starbucks, Chipotle, Caribou Coffee, Panera, and Winans. More than two thirds of DFP food comes from food drives, individual donation and pick-ups of surplus food; the remainder is food purchased from financial donations to the Pantry.
Our largest food drives are the Dublin Irish Festival (9.5 tons collected), Trick or Treat So Kids Can Eat (2.0 tons), and the Postal Carriers (1.5 tons). Additionally, the Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts held a variety of food drives, collecting two tons of food.
The Dublin Food Pantry employs a part-time Executive Director, and in October hired a part-time Operations Coordinator. Otherwise, the DFP is totally volunteer-driven. Given the size and the complexity of a food pantry operation, this is a great accomplishment and demonstrates the skill level and dedication of the DFP volunteers.
More than 130 volunteers work at the Pantry each week! They range in age from 16 to 85 years of age and are responsible for all aspects of food procurement, preparation, presentation, and storage of food. They assist clients as they shop and also assist with organizational and office tasks. An additional 400-500 community volunteers help with the large food drives and the Harvest of Hope.
Members of the Board of Trustees are Christine Nardecchia, Chair, Lou Aguilar, Garry Bergman, Lisa Blackwell, Cathy Boring, Marilee Chinnici Zuercher, Mark Gannon, Jordan Gray, Jorge Gomez, Nancy Johnson, Meredith Klug, Erika O'Brien-Mason, Nancy Richison, Deborah Rogner, Kendra Smith, Michael Wible and J.W. Wilson.
The Board has completed a strategic plan for the present and the future, implemented a new logo, and assigned each Board member to a working committee. Erika O'Brien Mason serves as the liaison to the Dublin Community Church and also serves on the Operations and Development Committee.
The DFP director maintains a close working relationship with the DCC ministers and the church administrator so we continue to be centered on our mission of making sure that our neighbors do not go hungry and on our mission of making sure we do the best job possible in our service.
The Dublin Food Pantry volunteers, donors, and clients are always mindful of the great support and inspiration that is received from The Dublin Community Church. Not only are you our home but you are our heart as well. We feel privileged to work with you and hope to ably continue the great mission you began when you founded the Pantry.
Submitted by Nancy Johnson,