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Our Daily Bread Community Food Pantry operates under a new model of food service. Gone are the days of handing out pre-filled bags that may or may not contain what the client wants/needs. The new Daily Bread Food Pantry has a built-in “empowerment” component that will require patrons to think about their individual nutritional needs and make choices to better address those needs through the selection of available food items. A list of food available is posted or given to clients, with any quantity restrictions based on food in stock or family size. Clients choose the food from the list by marking on the menu or telling the pantry worker and pantry worker fills the bag and brings it to the client. A guide/security volunteer is available to interact with the patron and to answer questions. This is empowerment at its best because the client takes responsibility for making decisions that will impact their own lives. How awesome is that?
In addition to the main food ordering option at the Greater Chicago Food Depository(GCFD), the Client Choice food pantry accesses GCFD’s “Nutritional Value of Food Program.” The Nutritional Value of Food Program promotes nutritious food options and fresh produce to clients. Signs are posted around the food pantry highlighting healthy options for the client. Healthy cooking demonstrations/workshops and/or sampling of healthy products (person with Food Handler’s License present) and recipe cards to highlight produce and other healthy options or to coincide with cooking demonstrations will be made available. Additionally, nutrition workshops are led by a licensed nutritionist. The empowerment component of the new Daily Bread Food has generated enthusiastic responses from our patrons. Over 400 individuals receive food monthly and (depending on family sizes) up to 1500 people are impacted on a monthly through our Client Choice Food Pantry.
We also schedule representatives from local social services agencies and low-income programs to speak to our clients and sign them up for needed services. This makes things very convenient because the client does not have to travel and can ask questions relevant to their unique situation.
Serving those with immediate needs
Circle Urban Ministries serves thousands of bags of food each year to our neighbors and friends in Austin’s 60644 zip code. Clients can visit the Daily Bread Food Pantry once every 30 days. Some of our Food Pantry friends share what they think of the Food Pantry in the video segment below.
How About This For A Unique Community Partnership?
Circle Urban Ministries has partnered with Bridge 2 Freedom (a Christian, residential ex-offender program) to bring a unique brand of healing to a community racked by violence. Participants in the Bridge 2 Freedom program volunteer to give back to the community by providing the physical labor and administrative support for the food pantry operations. Besides a place to stay while safely acclimating back into the community, Bridge 2 Freedom offers its residents discipleship, mentoring, job readiness training, and other opportunities to help them grow.
Who comes to our Food Pantry?
That could be just about anyone! We see people who have lost the jobs, senior citizens trying to stretch their fixed income (and not have to decide between purchasing food or medicine), families facing homelessness or disconnected utilities, families serving a special-needs relative, etc… You just never know who will come through the door. For us, it does not matter. We are here to serve!
If you would like to help support the Daily Bread Food Pantry click on the Donate Now button on the Main Menu of Circle Urban Ministries and select “Food Pantry” in the designation drop down menu. THANK YOU!