Thanks to CK Food Bank, We Now
Have Milk 'Til the Cows Come Home
May 13, 2020
We are so grateful to the fine folks at the Central Kitsap Food Bank!
Volunteers recently checked our panty inventory and found that we only had enough milk for 4 weeks, yet there are 7 weeks left in the school year.
Kevin at the Grocery Outlet, which graciously bailed us out a few weeks ago, let us know that his supplier is running out of this precious commodity — possibly only one more delivery left with no promises. Northwest Harvest, our normal supplier during the school year, had nothing available. It was bleak!!! The COVID-19 pandemic was challenging our "Take Home" bags!
Last week, on a whim, we contacted the Central Kitsap Food Bank to see where they get their shelf-stable milk. Our hope was we could order from their supplier.
Well, Chris from the CK Food Bank said: “We’ll give you half of what we have." We thought that might mean a few cases. Instead, they loaded up our car! Lots of (maybe 20-30) cases of quart-size cartons and 12-15 cases of the 8-oz size. The car was loaded to the gills, FOR FREE! They wouldn’t take any money for all that milk. We’re so thrilled we can hardly stand it.
If anyone asks “Got Milk?”: We do!
May 13, 2020
Week 9 of COVID Provides Chance
to Expand, Offer Variety in Meals
Today marks Week 9 of our weekly "Take Home" bags in conjunction with the Bremerton School District "Grab & Go" meal program.
As we continue to face the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is "Odds and Ends" week at the pantry. It's a chance to expand our options for families and promote some variety in meals.
This week we sent out nearly 1,500 pounds of food in 155 bags and were able to include some special treats such as a box of cake mix and pudding in addition to full size boxes of cereal, shelf-stable milk, fresh fruit and vegetables. The value of each bag is $13.50.
Thank you Bremerton (and beyond)! Your support makes the work of the Brigade possible!
COVID-19 Changes Things as Tough
Problems Become Tougher for Families
May 13, 2020
Our program year changed dramatically in March of this year. But a child's hunger and a parent's desperation knows no calendar date as they struggle with the unknown...
Volunteers at the Bremerton Backpack Brigade received an emergency appeal to help a family that was in a tough situation. They had moved to Bremerton in January for new jobs and new beginnings! The world looked bright and all was going fairly well until COVID-19 reared its head and the job market fell apart in late March.
Up to then, the parents were working full time. The children had been attending classes and participating in after school activities. Then the bottom fell out. You can imagine how daunting a weekend looks for parents with limited to no resources to feed their children.
Thanks to the generosity of the community, we were immediately able to put together an emergency box of food and include some fresh fruit and vegetables. Hopefully this will help this family bridge the gap until more support can be arranged. The family was so overwhelmed and grateful for the assistance.
There are a lot of children suddenly living in “the shadows” of food insecurity in our community especially as the pandemic roars through the nation.
The Bremerton Backpack Brigade is trying to make a difference- one backpack, one "Take Home" bag and one emergency box at a time
Thanks to Community Support, BBB
Gives More Brigade Bucks, Vouchers
May 6, 2020
Folks at the Brigade are so happy!
Today, thanks to the amazing support from the community, we were able to send out $3,000 in Brigade Bucks and protein vouchers to 120 of our families that we serve through the school year with our backpack program. These vouchers may be used at Saar's and WinCo to purchase fresh or frozen meat, fish, chicken, pork, eggs, beans and other healthy protein sources.
This is in addition to the 2,000-plus pounds of food that went out with our weekly "Take-Home" bags.
We are so grateful for the note we received this Spring from one Mom regarding the impact of the protein voucher for her family. We hope more tummies are full tonight and that there's a little less stress on our families with the addition of our May protein vouchers.
Thank you Bremerton, and thank you volunteers for making this possible!
Bremerton Education Association
Members Give $2,500 to Brigade
May 2, 2020
CHECK THIS OUT!!! Greg Raymond, President of the Bremerton Education Association stopped by the Brigade’s pantry Thursday afternoon and dropped off a check for $2500!
Those dollars will go a l-o-n-g way towards providing Protein Vouchers and food for the weekends, for the 150-plus families we serve through our "Take Home" bags during the pandemic.
Thank you Greg Raymond and thank you to all of the members of the Bremerton Education Association for joining us in the fight against food insecurity!!!
New Life Church Members, Donors
Defy Pandemic to Gather Donations
April 30, 2020
In this uneasy age of social distancing, many thanks to New Life Church pastors Ken Riley and Justin Bryeans, and members Mitzi Morrison and Roz Rude, for organizing a "Drive-By" food drive at Fred Meyer on Monday afternoon.
In just one hour, this amazing group received over 650 lbs in food donations and collected $850 with an online fundraiser thru Facebook to help the Brigade.
Thank you to New Life Church, to Fred Meyer for allowing the food drive in their parking lot and thank you Bremerton for supporting us as we help feed hungry families during the pandemic.
Grocery Outlet Helps
Milk for Take-Home Bags
A huge "Thank You!" to Grocery Outlet for helping the Brigade be able to purchase shelf-stable milk for our weekly "Take Home" bags.
Milk is such a good source of protein and helps build strong bones. These 8-ounce cartons are great for families to use with cereal, cooking or just a way to round out a meal.
Now that we have a new supplier with Grocery Outlet, we are going to be able to add 2-3 cartoons to each bag.
Thank You Grocery Outlet!