Many of you found this letter in your mailboxes recently. Thank you in advance for your support.
...A father of three comes home at the end of the work day and must tell his wife and family he has lost his job. They are full of anxiety about how to make ends meet;
...A retired veteran is living on a fixed income and struggles to keep up with his utility bills and buy groceries while the cost of both food and fuel continue to rise;
...An elderly neighbor, also living on a fixed income, has to decide between heating her home, buying much needed medication or purchasing groceries.
Stories like these are the reason Loaves & Fishes was founded in 1983. Thanks to the generosity of our volunteers and donors, we have been able to continue to help those in need for the last 30 years -- 30 years of selfless giving to others, 30 years of easing a burden and making a difference to so many, 30 years of lifting and feeding our neighbors. Loaves & Fishes exists to help make stories like these have a happy ending.
With the help of hundreds of individuals, businesses, houses of worship, schools and civic groups, we provide food for each and every one of our neighbors who ask for our help. The numbers tell the story. Last year:
* 897 families visited the Pantry
* 274 of these families were new faces
* 146 were senior citizens
* We saw a 10 percent increase in families since 2011
* We saw a 42 percent increase in families since 2007
As we begin our 30th anniversary year, we want to say thank you to the community for supporting our mission of feeding those in need. We are proud to share that $0.85 of every dollar donated will reach our clients -- your friends, colleagues and neighbors -- through our services. Please consider that:
* a $30 donation will buy 18 pounds of food
* 30 pounds of food feeds a family of four for six days
* a $300 donation will feed a family of four for 15 days
* a $900 donation will provide 30 of your neighbors with food for a week
* a $3,600 donation will provide 30 children with 30 days of food
With your support, we can keep our doors open as long as we are needed. With your support, we can continue lifting and feeding our neighbors. Every donation we receive is essential. Visit our website at www.loavesfishespantry.org to donate through PayPal. My best to you and your family for a happy and healthy 2013!
PATRICIA A. STERN