Restocking the Fridge: Hassle or Hardship?
After the Derecho that swept through the metro DC area on June 29, thousands of residents were without power for days. For most of us, restocking the refrigerator was likely an expensive nuisance. But for the low-income families that Our Daily Bread (ODB) serves, it was a true hardship. Especially when their weekly pay is less than planned because work was closed due to power outages.
Our Daily Bread’s clients are in great need of grocery gift cards in $10 and $20 increments so they can restock their refrigerators with perishable items such as fresh produce, milk, eggs, and meat. ODB does not provide non-perishable items to clients, but rather these small gift cards that our families will be able to use to purchase the non-perishable goods that are best suited for their dietary needs.
On Tuesday, July 3, 2012, Our Daily Bread made an email plea to the community for such food gift cards and/or donations. By Friday, July 6, 2012, ODB collected more than $3,500, all of which will go directly toward providing $50 grocery gift cards for 68 families.
I and my staff and volunteers at Our Daily Bread were amazed by the outpouring of generosity. We were genuinely surprised by the level of the community’s support for their less fortunate neighbors. Everyone was affected by this storm and could personally relate to the hardship experienced by our clients. Our clients are extremely grateful and relieved. There is still time to donate and there is still a great need.
Volunteers made calls to Our Daily Bread’s clients last week to see how they were faring in the storm’s aftermath. Here are some of our clients’ experiences:
- One client said she had just stocked up last Friday with yogurts and other fresh foods for her toddler and lost it all.
- A mom shopped with her food gift card from ODB last Thursday, and then they lost their power for two days. Neither her mother or sister had power, so much of their newly purchased perishables had to be thrown away.
- Another client finally got power on Wednesday and had lost everything in their refrigerator. On top of that every one of her kids was sick all week.
- Another client, a dad and breadwinner of a family of four, was especially affected. When the power went out last Friday, he tripped and broke his leg. His work as a chef requires mobility, and he will not be able to work for weeks. Our clients are so vulnerable. We will keep in contact with him to ensure that he and his family stay in their home.
Our Daily Bread is still accepting donations. Community members may donate on-line at www.ODBFairfax.org, designating the donation to the "restocking the fridge" fund. They may also deliver checks or gift cards to ODB’s office at 4080 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax, VA 22030 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact 703.273.8829 for more information.
-- Lisa Whetzel, Executive Director, Our Daily Bread, Inc.