The end of the year invites reflection and as I reflect on the past year, I think of the some of the remarkable accomplishments. Six school food pantries serving over 1,000 children and their families were established. This year, the mobile food pantry program distributed close to 9 million pounds of food directly to families at community centers, churches and social services agencies. This was possible thanks to a generous donation from the Bedford Falls Foundation which helped cover the cost of acquiring and distributing fresh produce to our partners.
This year also saw partner agencies more committed than ever to provide food to an ever increasing population of those in need. Many agencies reported increases of 10-75%. Each agency dealt with the demand in creative and strategic ways from teaching cooking classes or providing SNAP information to planting gardens.
As challenging as 2011 has been, I anticipate even more challenges in 2012. We wait in anticipation to see how we as a people and a nation confront the overwhelming pain that so many of our neighbors and friends are experiencing with the slow economic recovery. And next year the Food Bank faces the logistical challenge of moving into a new, larger facility. Nonetheless, we welcome such a challenge as we will greatly increase our ability to acquire and distribute even more food.
I look forward to 2012 and believe with our expansion and the help of our great partners, we will narrow the meal gap significantly.
Below is a video of the work being done by a few partner agencies in Prince Georges County, Maryland. While only a few are represented in this video, the work featured is indicative of the remarkable work being done throughout the Partner Agency network.