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Bread for the City and Amazon Come Together to Support Families this Holiday Season

Bread for the City (BFC), a direct service non-profit in the nation’s capital, will serve 15,000 DC families through its annual Holiday Helpings program this season. An almost 30-year tradition, Holiday Helpings runs through November and December each year and, prior to the pandemic, provided families with their holiday turkey or ham and all the trimmings. In 2020 and 2021, the program pivoted to provide direct cash giving through debit cards in order to offer flexibility and choice to families struggling during the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bread for the City received $250,000 from Amazon to directly support the DC community this year through Holiday Helpings. With more people in need than ever before in the District, Bread for the City will use this significant donation to ensure it can reach as many families as possible with its direct cash Holiday Helpings program as well as increase the per-family amount from $50 to $75.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is still affecting many people; turkeys and hams might not be their top priority. We want to help folks out this holiday season by giving them the freedom of choice to meet their individualized needs,” said George Jones, CEO of Bread for the City. “With $75, someone can decide to pay an electric bill, or buy new shoes for their kids, or supplement the higher cost of gas and food we’re seeing right now. This gift from Amazon will enable us to meet our shared goal of providing resources to those in need, especially now.” 

Higher gas and energy costs are pushing up prices on everything from food to clothing to diapers and basic household supplies. Last month, prices soared higher than they have in three decades, straining an already tight supply chain. These headlines have real consequences for those already living below the poverty line. When the economy falters, the communities Bread for the City serves are often the ones left behind. And in the District, those impacted are disproportionately Black and brown communities.

For more than 47 years, Bread for the City has been there to provide a helping hand and be a community hub and gathering place for those who seek to make a difference in their own neighborhoods. Knowing that clients can determine how to meet their own needs through this year’s Holiday Helpings is just one way the BFC tradition of treating everyone with dignity and respect is carried over into 2021.

“The blessing of being trusted so that I can make the choices that benefit me the best and also being able to not just set up for the holidays but also for the future” explains client and board member Gail Knight, “it makes the hardship just a little bit more bearable, to know that someone is caring enough to be of service.”

“Now more than ever, customers across the country are looking for an affordable, convenient online grocery shopping experience,” explains Nancy Dalton, head of community partnerships for Amazon’s U.S. consumer retail business. “Many people face difficulties when it comes to grocery shopping – because they lack transportation options to get to a store, they have limited mobility or they simply don’t have enough time to get there in person. At Amazon, we want to help eligible customers facing these challenges to conveniently purchase groceries – both fresh foods and pantry stable items – from Amazon for delivery straight to their homes.”

Find out how you can be of service to your community through Bread for the City’s Holiday Helpings program by visiting breadforthecity.org/holidayhelpings

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