Project Bread’s relentless focus on the mission of feeding people made sure there was enough for all
We are facing the greatest hunger crisis we will see in our lifetime. One thing I know will always stay with me is the impact the pandemic had on our team and the unwavering resilience and dedication amidst uncertainty everywhere around us. The state shut down and seemingly overnight, there was a jump in the number of people living without enough to eat. Need was unlike anything we’ve ever seen, and my team just got to work. The world was in a state of chaos but at Project Bread there wasn’t a lot of panic. Instead, it was as though the crisis brought with it a hyper focus. Everyone seemed to understand the responsibility we had and still have, to respond. It was an incredible experience to see a group of people come together, with no ego, no complaining, truly driven by the mission. Doing whatever needed to be done together. We stopped fundraising so people on the fundraising team could answer and triage calls to our FoodSource Hotline. Our team working on child nutrition helped entire school districts pivot their food service literally overnight so no kids would have to go without enough to eat.
Looking back, what strikes me is the realization that I don’t think it ever occurred to the team that it might be hard to rise to the occasion. That mindset extended beyond the first few weeks too. Our team actually launched an entirely new program months ahead of schedule because of the even greater urgency the crisis brought to helping patients of community health centers access and afford food at a time when the barriers were more significant and numerous than ever.
I’m so proud to have overcome this challenge together in such an incredible way. A quote that I look to is by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Growing up food insecure, I had to learn how to be resilient, tenacious, and keep moving forward. What’s driven me to where I am today is my hope, and more than that, my knowledge that we can end hunger.