By Cynthia L. Brown, Director, Boulevard Place Food Pantry
Season’s greetings from Boulevard Place Food Pantry (BPFP), a Special Work of St. Vincent de Paul Society, which so many of you generously support. As I was reflecting on the theme of this message, the visual of “helping hands” kept resonating. Hands, young and seasoned, pitching in with a caring heart to do so much during a tumultuous year. Hands that helped us build up and reach out.
BPFP served 11,380 client households in the 2021 fiscal year—an all-time high and a 15% increase over 2020. We averaged 8,917 client households served per year from 2015 to 2020, so you see the demand for emergency food relief continues to grow. We shudder to think what clients would do without our help. We shudder to think of how we’d fulfill our mission without YOUR help.
The Boulevard Place Food Pantry Annual Report is a reflection of our appreciation—both individually and collectively. So many thanks to:
- Steve Shank, construction project manager
- Our dedicated food pantry board
- The priests
- The parishioners who kept the donations of money flowing in and to the schoolchildren who toted in canned goods
- Media that told our story and the plight of the hungry as well
- Volunteers who were nimble around dust and drills
- Our grocery suppliers, especially Indiana farmers, who shared their excess bounties
- Paul Ainslie and Peter Zubler, our supportive partners at St. Vincent de Paul
- Amy Taylor, who kept our volunteers scheduled and busy
- Perennial longtime community partners, such as Butler Tarkington Neighborhood Association and Broad Ripple Farmers Market
- New friends like Marion County Master Gardeners, who met the challenge of landscaping our remade, now-3,000-square-foot grocery
- Those ensuring that we’re a neighborhood asset and citywide resource through 2022—our 40th anniversary—and beyond
As Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced to more than 100 people at our ribbon-cutting on Aug. 6 (as he stood in our new warehouse), “You persevered throughout a year of trials to bring and continue bringing this oasis to a food desert.”
BPFP’s mission—to put nutritious food options into the hands of our hungry fellow citizens—will continue, in whatever form is required. We have the space to offer in-person client choice and provide to-go items for drive-through pickup. We’re taking some food to the needy who trust us to deliver creative, appealing options for them. We’re doing it all with safety in mind, professional standards met, and love in our hearts.
You are welcome to help us by sharing your time, talent or treasure. Digital donations, regular church tithing and traditional checks are all welcome as you are able. They give us options and purchase power. We use our appreciative hands to applaud you.
We thank you for 2021 and thank you for your continued support and prayers.