Our 23 Favorite Moments of 2023
December 22, 2023 by Molly Crabb in
As we bid farewell to another year, it’s time to reflect on the moments that have defined our journey at Bread for the City in 2023. We’re proud of our work this year, both internal and external, which we couldn’t have done without the trust and input of our clients and the support of our community. Join us as we take a stroll down memory lane, celebrating Bread for the City’s top moments that have shaped a year of compassion, change, and shared triumphs.
23. We took time to reconnect. Our staff has been through a lot over the past three years, working through the pandemic and losing several Bread for the City loved ones. This year, we prioritized listening to our staff and spending quality time together.
22. We prescribed produce to 176 medical patients. Our care management team connected medical patients with diabetes or high blood pressure with monthly funds ($80+!) for fresh fruits and vegetables via ProduceRx, a new program from DC Greens.
21. We got two not-so-ordinary vending machines. As part of our harm reduction efforts for people experiencing addiction, we partnered with HIPS to get vending machines filled with testing strips, Narcan, water, and snacks in front of both of our centers.
20. We got some significant support. The DC Bar Foundation selected our legal clinic as one of the recipients of their grant for free legal assistance in DC, providing total funding for our Housing Preservation Project, Eviction Diversion Project, Child Support Community Legal Services Project, Community Lawyering Project, and Domestic Violence Community Legal Services Project. We are so grateful!
18. We nurtured our community. Our inaugural Black Philanthropy Initiative event brought our community of Black funders and partners together, fostering connections and dialogue on reparations within our city.
17. We (finally) celebrated in person! Our closest supporters came together to celebrate the campaign to build the Michelle Obama Southeast Center of Bread for the City.
16. Night at the Ballpark with Mars and the Nationals. We accepted a generous donation from Mars and the Washington Nationals’ Kids Eat Free program…right on home plate!
15. We boogied at the Good Hope Gala – and it went viral! Our community knows how to have a good time! We had folks from all backgrounds dancing to Go-Go, the sound of DC, and celebrating another year of service with us.
14. Ending homelessness for 43 clients. Through meticulous data collection and collaboration with DC’s Coordinated Entry system, our care management program successfully matched 43 clients experiencing long-term homelessness with permanent supportive housing.
13. 12,900 families got a holiday meal. Our Holiday Helpings program was a success thanks to lots of client and staff input.
12. We felt pretty cool. We got our name out there thanks to collaborations with local partners like Broccoli City Fest, Unconventional Diner, SmoothCity Band, Dacha Beer Garden, and the Set R&B party.
11. Nonprofit Leader of the Year. Our CEO, George Jones, was named the Nonprofit Leader of the Year by the Washington Business Journal for his intentional approach to leadership through tumultuous times and as a standout model in the nonprofit sector.
10. Our second-annual Juneteenth for the City was a major hit! We celebrated Black liberation at our Southeast Center with musical performances, fun for all ages, and education. We also covered the cost of 300 meals made by Black-owned food vendors for attendees.
9. We captured the moment. We brought back an old tradition, taking free professional holiday portraits for our community members and their families.
8. We packed the halls. Our incredible volunteers packed over 2,000 holiday grocery bags, 15,000 diapers, and 1,000 socks in just one day during our annual Harvest Fest!
7. The final Helping Hand. Our three-year partnership with John Kelly for Washington Post’s Helping Hand has come to an end. We’re so appreciative of the features of our work and for Post readers raising over $300K in support of our critical services.
6. We launched our own cash transfer program! Launching the CashRx program, we’re providing equity-based cash transfers to a select group of Bread clients, aiming to improve their health outcomes and well-being.
5. We stood up for people facing mental health emergencies. With the ACLU of DC, we filed a federal lawsuit challenging DC’s practice of sending police officers instead of mental health providers to respond to mental health emergencies.
4. Big plans by 2027. We rolled out our strategic plan focused on anti-racism, systems reform, new client services, improved client services, and sustainability.
3. Client choice at the food pantries. Responding to the needs of our community, we pivoted our food pantry to a client-choice model, allowing individuals to select items that best suit their preferences and dietary needs.
2. Our team got a little bigger and better. Our leadership team expanded with the addition of Mahogany Thomas, Chief Program Officer, and Toshira Monroe, Chief Operating Officer, bringing fresh perspectives and warmth to our community.
1. You showed up for us. Thank you to everyone who volunteered, donated, or supported our work in any way this year. We couldn’t have done this without you.
We are excited to enter 2024, our 50th anniversary! It will be a special year to reflect on how far we’ve come in the last half-century while still making progress and being aware of how far we still have left to go. Thank you for being part of our story, and here’s to the continued impact we’ll make together in the years to come!