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Happy New Year!

Counting down to midnight and welcoming 2022 during the current pandemic surge means we are entering yet another year amidst a surreal pandemic experience. But, it also means we have made it through 2021, despite its challenges and hardships. At Bread for the City, we especially have much to be thankful for. We’ve met this moment head-on, cheered on by our community and motivated by our client heroes, many of which have been hard hit these last two years.

Here is Bread for the City’s top 21 moments of 2021. I hope seeing all this light through the dark helps you, as it does me, to walk into 2022 knowing there are helping hands all around when things get tough.

Here’s to 2022, here’s to Bread for the City, and here’s to you!

21 1 shot, 2 shots, 3 shots, 4? BFC kicked off the year by becoming a COVID-19 vaccine distribution site and worked tirelessly for vaccine equity in the process.

20 A decade of service. The Client Advisory Council celebrated its 10th anniversary of providing leadership, insight, and opportunity for BFC’s client community.

19 We expanded our food partnerships. Partnerships with Dreaming Out Loud and +One allowed our Food Program to deepen its commitment to the community.

18 No hate in this house. We stood up against AAPI hatred and violence and continued to advocate for racial justice for all.

17 We focused on health. Not allowing social distancing to get us down, our Social Service team hosted a virtual Women’s Wellness Day in April.

16 Housing is a Human Right. We asked DC leadership to declare Housing a Human Right in the District and advocated for programs to keep residents in their homes, provide housing for those experiencing housing insecurity, and demanded repairs be made to DC’s current housing stock.

15 You joined our call to action. We asked you to join us for a virtual Good Hope Gala in May and you gave a resounding “Yes!” Turnout to our “show” was amazing, and so was getting to enjoy the gala with a catered meal at home in your slippers 😉

14 Not just a fall fad. Our Free Farmers Markets became year-round!

13 We expanded our health practices. The Michelle Obama Southeast Center of Bread for the City opened the doors to its new medical center – Bread for the City’s first medical home east of the Anacostia River.

12 An advocate was recognized. Attorney Rebecca Lindhurst won the 2021 Jerrod Scoutt Prize from The DC Bar Foundation, which honors nonprofit attorneys who provide direct services to low-income individuals.

11 BFC was all over print media. Our work, staff, and clients were featured by DCist, the Washington Post, and the NYTimes. BFC nurse Danielle Stout’s op-ed for Blavity about being a frontline worker during the pandemic is a must-read.

10 Looking good! Corporate Partner MCN Build gave the old Southeast Center a facelift with experts providing a new paint job. 

9 We got a helping hand. BFC was named one of the three Washington Post Helping Hand select charities, which has included beautiful feature columns on our work and impact in DC.

8 Correction: 1,313 helping hands! Our volunteers came out for the community even during a pandemic, providing over 12,000 hours of critical support! We put safety first by requiring everybody in our centers to be vaccinated, wear a mask, and follow CDC guidelines.

7 The doctor is in, and has been since 1991! This year, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Randi Ambramson celebrated her 30-year Breadiversary! We can’t thank Dr. Randi enough for the HUGE impact she’s had on the DC community across three decades.

6 You blew Giving Tuesday out of the water! 2021’s Giving Tuesday surpassed its goal by over $100,000.

5 A visit from a very special gentleman. Second Gentleman, Doug Emhoff, and his team visited us in Southeast to thank frontline workers and pack grocery bags for the community.

4 You showed us the money! The 2021 fiscal year ended as the highest-grossing fundraising year in Bread for the City’s almost 50-year history! This represents an amazing coming together of this city’s community.

3 New staff joined us. New lawyers focused on housing, benefits, and family law. A new doctor and dentist to help open our medical home in Southeast. New social service workers bring language skills to deepen our relationship with diverse communities across DC. New food staff brave the pandemic every day to make sure tens of thousands of DC households do not go without a meal. And new advocacy and organizing staff who will call for the needs of DC residents to be justly met.

2 We are feeding more households than ever before. We are now giving out about 1,600 bags of healthy groceries every day Monday through Friday. That is up from about 250 bags a day prior to the pandemic.

1 Lastly, what made this year so special was you. Each and every one of you who volunteered, donated funds or items, checked in on us and made a point to be there for your community. Thank you.

This year was full of amazing moments both big and small – each sponsored by the generosity of our supportive community and made possible by a dedicated staff of over 100 working days in and day out to meet the ever-increasing and changing needs of our neighbors in DC.

Cheers to 2022 and even more moments we will get to share together!

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