By Cynthia L. Brown, Pantry Director 2016-22 and Pantry Co-Director 2022-23
Greetings! The theme of my message to you this holiday season is respite and sustenance. I can’t think of two better words to describe Boulevard Place Food Pantry, which we renovated, expanded and modernized during my tenure so that our clients, including this gentleman—who came to the pantry short on gas, short on money, short on hope—could find sustenance; the pantry was his respite (see his interview at bit.ly/BlvdofHope). That’s what this Place was built to do.
As you may know, I retire from the Pantry after what will be a lucky seven years as leader. I feel blessed to have been able to be of service and adding a memorable chapter in our nonprofit’s ongoing 40-year story. Matt Hayes, who shared the director’s role with me since March 2022, takes over sole responsibility.
Certainly, what stands out to me was the successful expansion of our warehouse, renovation of the shopping area and brightening of our client waiting room. We also developed a new hybrid shopping format (as part of our experience with COVID-19) to be of comfort and to offer flexible, reliable and dignified shopping, regardless of whether the visit is indoors, or accomplished through to-go kits handed at our drive-up.
We were able to introduce key members of the team—TJ and Valerie—who keep operations flowing smoothly. Your generosity is what makes this such a great Place to serve out our mission.
I am most proud, perhaps, that the mission stayed true even as we evolved from a street-corner mom-and-pop to a dependable, integral component of hunger relief in Indianapolis. As we built up, we grew up. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Boulevard Place. Thank you for trusting me with that responsibility.