Your contributions have helped DESK provide a steady source of food for those suffering from hunger since our inception in 1987, but as an organization, we recognize that we cannot say that we have fulfilled our mission. Whether it is because guests’ work schedules are incompatible with our own, because guests do not have transportation to get to our kitchen or simply because we do not have the resources to fully meet the demand, there are people in our community who continue to face hunger.
These challenges do not go unnoticed and since joining the board last November, I cannot say how proud I am of our volunteers, staff, board members and donors for the contributions they have made to expand access to services, find opportunities to serve the most vulnerable and ultimately feed more people.
This summer, we launched a new children’s backpack initiative. With assistance from the federal Community Development Block Grant Program, we provided high-quality backpacks filled with fresh and nonperishable food to 100 area children – many of whom are new to our kitchen. Each week this summer, the children returned to DESK to have their backpacks filled up again and again. In past years, the kitchen closed for two weeks in July – our busiest time of the year – and for another two weeks spanning the holidays in December. This past June, our board voted to keep the kitchen open, providing relief to our hungry guests at critical times of the year. We also applied for a multitude of new grants to make repairs to our facility, replace old equipment and further expand our operations. Some of those grant requests have been awarded; others are currently being considered.
These are just a few examples of efforts we have made over the past several months, but it does not end there. The board recently assembled a strategic plan committee that is actively reviewing a number of initiatives to help us get closer to fulfilling our mission and serve more of our neighbors in need. Included are plans to further expand access our services, potentially collaborate with other area nonprofits and uncover ways to operate more efficiently – and these just graze the surface.
In 2015, an incredible 62% of our funding came from generous donors like you. Our guests, staff, volunteers and board of directors – everyone who works to make what we do possible – joins me in thanking your for your partnership and generosity. Since each meal we serve costs just 37 cents, every dollar you give is extremely important and has a direct impact on how many people will receive a much-needed meal. Please help us provide at least 270 new meals by making contribution of $100 or more. With your support, we will be able to make further strides in our mission to provide free, nutritious meals for those suffering from hunger in our community.
President of the Board