Reflections from the Director.
Seeing daffodils in bloom and trees putting out their leaves, I'm heartened to know that despite the COVID-19 crisis, Spring has come again to us, as every year. And with it, new life is taking form and emerging from what was hard, frozen earth. Marvelously, that's what Bread of Life is experiencing as well. New things, long awaited, are taking form and emerging. For several years we have been working, planning, promoting, waiting, for our Under One Roof project to come to fruition. Building our new facility at 54 Eastern Avenue in Malden will enable us to serve more people and do so far more efficiently through our multiple food programs and program expansion possibilities. We are also partnering with Metro North Housing Corp. (MNHC), which will own and operate 14 permanently affordable studio apartments for formerly homeless individuals and veterans, some of the same groups Bread of Life has always served. In the past several weeks we received fantastic news: Bread of Life was awarded a major grant from the City of Malden through the support of the Malden Redevelopment Authority, the City Council, and Mayor Christenson. We were also approved for a major award by the Malden Community Preservation Committee. And now we've learned that our partner, MNHC, was awarded the final grant needed for their housing portion of the project by the Massachusetts Dept. of Housing and Community Development. This means that construction can start this Fall, contingent on Bread of Life raising the remaining $1 million we need for the Bread of Life portion of the project.
The COVID-19 crisis has made it even more clear how much we need our new facility. Our food distribution is increased 50%. We need more space, professionally designed for ideal food distribution and meal preparation and easily maintenanced and sanitized. The work we are doing providing food to struggling families is being honed and improved by the crisis as we expand our volunteer base, donor base, food distribution and delivery capacity. We know our work must continue and expand even after things return to "normal".
After we delivered groceries to Maria, a mom in Everett, she called and said tearfully, "You have no idea how blessed I am right now. I really appreciated it. In the future, when I go back to work, I'd like to help other people the way you helped me. God bless you and God bless everyone who's doing this."
We're in the home stretch of our Under One Roof project. We know that with our partnering foundations, banks, corporations, organizations, faith communities and you, our faithful volunteers and supporters, we will cross the finish line. If you, or people you know, have been waiting to see that finish line, or wondering how to make the greatest impact with your financial support, now is the time. Your gift can be made in honor or memory of a loved one, with naming opportunities on our wall plaques or for areas of our building and grounds. We need the help of each and every person who is a friend of Bread of Life and is able to make a financial gift, at whatever level, to make that gift now - and help us cross the finish line!
Thank you for thoughtfully considering this request.
God bless you, and stay safe,
Gabriella Snyder Stelmack
Click here for information on our "Under One Roof" Campaign.
P.S. Our "Under One Roof" campaign continues to gather momentum, despite the crisis. Please like us and follow us on facebook and follow us on twitter. If you know of a house of worship, organization, business, individual, radio or TV show where we can talk about our campaign, please let us know by contacting Patty Kelly, Development Director: Patty.Kelly@breadoflifemalden.org, 781-820-4749.
Click here to get involved in Bread of Life's work.