STILLWATER, Okla. — The COVID-19 pandemic has created unforeseen challenges for Our Daily Bread, Stillwater’s Food & Resource Center.
“This crisis creates a unprecedented reality for our organization,” said Becky Taylor, Executive Director of Our Daily Bread. “We have more people in need. We have less volunteers able to help. And our retail recovery has diminished.”
Our Daily Bread serves an average of 700 individuals each week. Last week, 1,200 individuals were served and that number is expected to spike in the weeks to come. With shops temporarily closed, layoffs happening, and children staying home from school, there are more mouths to feed and less money to feed them with.
“We are prepared,” Taylor said. “A majority of our volunteers are over the age of 60 and we want to keep them safe. In order to do our part we have asked that all vulnerable populations – those over the age of 59 and anyone with an underlying health issue—refrain from volunteering. Though we miss them desperately.”
Our Daily Bread has also implemented emergency measures allowing only 10 volunteers in the building at a time.
Other than helping guests check in, shop, and organize food, volunteers also pick up retail recovery from partners like Walmart and Sprouts.
“Because of the panic shopping, we are receiving far less food,” Operations Manager Zack Wilson said. “But our partners remain strong and we hope that individual donations will increase.”
In 2019, Our Daily Bread received 7,800 pounds of food weekly through local partners in their Retail Recovery program.
Before the pandemic, guests were served four days a week. Now they will be served from 2-6 p.m. Tuesday, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday and from 9 a.m.-noon the third Saturday.
“We pride ourselves on our guests ability to choose the food they take home,” Taylor said. “But we have had to modify our system, distributing pre-packed boxes in a Farmer’s Market style distribution. Our guests are still going home with an abundance of produce, bread, freezer and cooler items and non-perishables.”
If you want to help please consider donating canned protein, cereal and crackers. A list of greatest needs will be updated on the website, www.OurDailyBreadStillwater.org. Financial donations will be needed now and in the future.
“We have planned for times of crisis and we are prepared,” Taylor said. “We will continue to serve because we believe in the strength of this community and the underlying truth that no one should go hungry.”