Blog For The City

$20,000 per month? Yes, please!

Bread and Butter club logoPeople always think of Bread for the City as just a food pantry, but we are so much more! Between our dental and vision clinics, 14 staff attorneys, job-readiness program, and more, we help nearly 35,000 adults and children every year. 

As you can imagine, it takes a lot to make all of this happen, and that’s where our monthly donor program comes in. The Bread and Butter Club is vital to sustaining our comprehensive services. And, if you join today, your gift will be matched each month for an entire year through our $20,000 Monthly Donor Matching Challenge!

The Bread and Butter Club is an easy and convenient way for you to support Bread for the City. Membership means that:

  • you’ll never have to think about writing a check
  • we’ll contact you less often
  • AND when you join today, your gift will be matched, dollar for dollar, for a whole year!

Will you join the Bread and Butter Club today to help our clients each month?

The work of fostering a city where all residents are healthy and housed requires a long-term commitment. Please stand with us today and have your gift DOUBLED!

Oh, What a Night!

We are all on cloud nine here at Bread for the City as we recover from Saturday’s absolutely AMAZING Good Hope Gala.  We welcomed over 480 of our friends and neighbors to enjoy great food, bid on awesome auction items (Hamilton tickets that sold for $7,000!), dance the night away with the JoGo Project, and, of course, raise money to support our poverty relief services in the District.BFTC_324

And when we say raise money…we really mean it!  We stepped up our game this year and, together, we raised a record $1,050,000 through our Good Hope Gala. Now that deserves a virtual round of applause!

Our 480 guests packed the house and kept the momentum going all night long. The guest list included more than 30 amazing BFC clients, who inspired us on Saturday and continue to inspire us every day. Chearie shared with us her inspiring story of how she came to Bread for the City and all the ways in which we were able to help and encourage her. We also honored BFC CEO George Jones to celebrate his 20th anniversary here at BFC.

Our successes on Saturday and all year round would not be possible without you: our supporters and friends. You are behind every bag of groceries we distribute, every patient we treat, and every person to whom we provide guidance and support.

Thank you for standing with us!

Check out all the photos and a video from the gala today. We can’t wait to do it again next year!

Women’s Wellness Day 2016

Many of the women who walk into our doors are dealing with constant stress due to finances, employment, housing, and much more. These women rarely have time to spend on themselves and to make themselves a priority. Bread for the City’s Women Strong program helps women living in SE DC deal with these stresses.

On April 22nd, we held our annual Women’s Wellness Day event where women came together at R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center26590022591_1fa614f671_o to learn about the importance of self-care and also have the opportunity to be pampered. The event included education on oral health and emotional trauma, drum meditation, massages, yoga, raffle prizes, and much more!

The program began with the reading of a powerful poem by Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman” and the first of many raffles, with prizes including BFC t-shirts and gift cards to TJ Maxx and Regal Theatres.

Our very own Dr. Myles spoke to the women about the importance of oral health. He urged them to put their needs first, even amidst their super busy lives that involve taking care of everyone else. “Leave this earth with what you came with,” Dr. Myles advises, giving advice that goes far beyond just oral care. He urged these women to take c
harge of their own health and left them all with an oral health goodie bag.

Therapist Rebecca Helem talked to the women about emotional trauma and the importance of finding your own therapeutic practices that can help you feel better. Women opened up to share their own personal experiences, the trauma in their lives, and how they have learned to not only cope but to move past it.

A powerful drum meditation was led by Richael Faithful who invited the women to close their eyes and focus inward to be in the present.

Women’s Wellness Day ende26049810094_4bcaca5b03_od with “Pamper Me” stations where women could practice yoga, get their nails done, receive relaxing massages, and pick out new bras. Former BFC board member, Carol Preston, collected over 700 donated bras to be given to these women! Each participant left the event in style with a crocheted flower made by BFC’s crochet class and an Athleta gift bag!

Women’s Wellness Day 2016 was a huge success! Many thanks to all those who made it happen and to the incredible women that came to celebrate themselves and each other!

For more photos from the event, check out our album on Flickr!

Bread for the City’s WomenStrong DC is proud to be a consortium member of WomenStrong International (WSI), a new network of organizations worldwide dedicated to empowering women and girls and to sharing what works. For more, and to learn what you can do as part of this effort, see



The Wait is Over!

We are excited to reveal the lineup of super-duper, ultra-exclusive, extra-special opportunities that will be up for grabs during this Saturday’s Good Hope Gala live auction.

Drumroll please…

Take Me Out to the Ballgame! – The Nats are going all the way this year, we can feel it! Catch the team as they face off against the San Francisco Giants. Treat yourself and three friends to seats in the Dugout Box- prime seats for your game-viewing pleasure.

Welcome to Miami – Party in the city where the heat is on! Stay at The Betsy hotel, a beachside haven in South Beach, and eat your heart out at Joe’s Stone Crab, a historic seafood hot spot.

Hello… it’s Adele! – Missed your chance to snag tickets to Adele’s stop in DC? We’ve got you covered. You’ll get to see her at the Verizon Center in floor seats!

Beach Week in the Outer Banks – Enjoy a week at a six-bedroom beach house in Duck, NC. This vacation package has everything you need (including a hot tub!) for a fun-filled week-long vacation.

Hooked on Fishing in St. Michaels – Meet Captain Herman Haddaway on Maryland’s Eastern Shore for a half-day private fishing trip for up to three people. This package even includes a one-night stay at the scenic Hambleton Inn in St. Michaels, MD.

Jet Off to Rio! – Hop on a jet plane to exotic Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for a one-week stay in a luxurious one-bedroom apartment in the heart of the city.

Dining Out in DC All Year Long – Treat yourself to the ultimate DC foodie package with gift certificates to 12 area restaurants, one for each month of the year.

Top top-gunGun Experience – Do you have what it takes to be a fighter pilot for a day? With this package, you’ll get to fly a real military fighter jet with an instructor pilot for the thrill of a lifetime.

Viva Las Vegas! – Jet off to Las Vegas and spend two nights in a terrace studio at The Cosmopolitan. Located right on the Vegas Strip, you’ll have everything you need right there. You can also spring for a special dinner with your $100 dining credit.

Hamilton in NYC – See the sold-out sensation Hamilton in NYC during your July 4th weekend getaway to The Big Apple. This packages includes a two-night stay in a one-bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side, dinner for two at E&E Grill House, and two tickets to Hamilton!

It’s not too late to join us as we auction off these exciting packages. Purchase your gala tickets today at

See you Saturday!

Thank you, Good Hope Gala sponsors!

With our annual Good Hope Gala just days away, we can’t tell you how grateful we are for the 100+ corporations and individuals throughout DC and across the nation that have come forward as sponsors of our largest event to date.

There are a lot of great perks that come with sponsoring our gala as an individual or a corporate partner, but the best benefit of all is the fact that our sponsors are so critical in helping Bread for the City continue doing what we do best–providing food, clothing, medical care, legal and social services to more than 34,000 DC residents every year.

Please join us in thanking all of our individual sponsors and corporate partners. Want to join this amazing group of BFC supporters? Contact Amanda Nover, Corporate Partnerships Manager, at

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Mark & Cindy Aron
The Dweck Family
Mayberg Family Foundation
Katherine & David Bradley
George & Carol Jones
Cynthia Krus & George Corey
Ellen & Roy Rosenthal
G. Paul Moates & Constance Sadler
American Airlines
Forest City Washington
Gary & Carol Berman
CoStar Group
Tanisha Carino & Jalyn Henton
Dentons US LLP
Kristin & Mike Foti
Louise Hilsen & Donald Foley
Marie & William Hoffman
The JBG Companies
The Bernard & Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Derek Thomas
Alan & Miriam Pemberton
Rosalind & Donald Cohen
Craig & Belinda Stevens
Donald Friedman & Rhona Wolfe Friedman
Carter Phillips & Sue Henry
Nowell & Michele Rush
Jeannine Sanford & Charles Parker
Irma Poretsky
Steuart & Linda Thomsen
Chris & Meg Wilber
Jon Fee & Joan Suttin Fee
Reformation Fitness
Randi Abramson & Michael Lieberman
David & Adrienne Umansky
Sharon & Charles Bates
Carpe DC Food Tours
Mary A. Christie
Janet & Michael Cornfeld
Abbie & William Eckland
Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
Giant Food
Jon & Jennifer Glaudemans
Hollingsworth LLP
Mark Hopson
Peter & Susan Keisler
Toks Exum Ladejobi
Elizabeth & Henry Linsert
Liz & David Nover
David & Katherine Pastrick
Lester Poretsky Family Foundation
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Richard Rome
Matthew & Marjorie Schneider
Paul & Claudia Taskier
Emily & Brian Torruellas
Vinson & Elkins LLP
Ed & Barbara Zinbarg
Garvey Schubert Barer


Stop Smoking! Stay Healthy!

Smoking is the most preventable cause of death in the United States and causes more deaths than HIV, alcohol, illegal drug use, car accidents, and gun related violence combined. Here at Bread for the City we take smoking cessation seriously.

Of the clients seen in Bread’s Medical Clinic in 2015, 25% were identified as smokers. The majority stop-smokingof our clients are considered light smokers (ie smoking less than 10 cigarettes or ½ pack per day), with half smoking less than 5 cigarettes per day. This is partly due to the high taxes on tobacco.

Though smoking fewer cigarettes is a change in the right direction, we know that light smokers carry several of the same health risks as heavy smokers. Research has shown that even adults that smoke 1-4 cigarettes per day are three times more likely to suffer from ischemic heart disease than nonsmokers.

After collecting this data and recognizing how much tobacco impacts our clients, we made the decision to make tobacco cessation a priority. We have invested more time and resources into enhancing our existing smoking cessation program – “Partners in Quitting”.

In February 2016, Bread for the City sent Dr. Monica and me (Health Resource Coordinator) to a certification course that focused on the most successful approach to tobacco cessation. Dr. Monica and I are now Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialists and are utilizing the skills and information we gained to improve Partners in Quitting.

Partners in Quitting is a 6-week program that integrates weekly group sessions, one on one motivational interviewing, periodic follow ups with primary care providers (PCP), phone check-ins, and a text message based program. We have found that integrating behavioral support has been a key factor in our ability to build relationships based on trust and open communication.

During one of our recent classes, a Partners in Quitting participant said, “If I didn’t feel so supported then I wouldn’t be coming every week.”

Here at Bread, we know that the more you invest in the patient, the more successful they will be.

Michael Blue, Partners in Quitting Client Champion

One of our most exciting additions to the program is having a Client Champion. Mr. Michael Blue, a long term client, board member and graduate of Partners In Quitting has graciously agreed to become our Client Champion! This role entails contact with other clients during group sessions, sharing his personal struggles and successes with quitting tobacco, and providing clients with support and encouragement. Mr. Blue completed PIQ in 2015 and we are happy to report that he has been smoke free for 8 months! Our hope is that with time, more clients will join Mr. Blue by becoming leaders in the community, healthier individuals, and tobacco cessation champions. We are grateful to Mr. Blue for helping us in this endeavor.

To help our clients successfully complete the program, we are making an effort to alleviate any potential barriers. This includes, transportation costs/access and providing nicotine replacement therapy right here in our medical clinic.

We are excited to see how these changes will help our clients be more successful and strengthen the commitment they have made to live a healthier life. In one client’s words, “If you apply yourself then it will work. You gave me the inspirational hope that I could do it and I did. If you really want to do it, it can be done.”

To Support Our Smoking Cessation Program, Click Here

Good Hope Gala, we’re coming for you!

We’re counting down the days until our Good Hope Gala–just 18 days to go! Get ready for a night of fun and dancing with 400 of your closest friends on April 30th at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

We’re coming to you today with the top 5 reasons why you can’t miss this year’s event:

5. Allergy season got you down? We’ll help you ditch the Beltway Blues with awesome vacation packages up for grabs. Participate in our live auction and bid on great vacations to Rio de Janeiro, Las Vegas, Miami, and the Outer Banks!

4. At our Good Hope Gala, we’ll dance the night away with the help of the JoGo Project! Get a preview here. Want to keep dancing? We’re raffling off tickets to Beyonce’s Formation Tour in Baltimore!chico bag

3. Limited-edition BFC apparel…YES, PLEASE! At our Good Hope Gala, you’ll be among the first to have access to brand new BFC baseball caps, BFC ChicoBags, and tees for adults and kids. Shopping spree!

2. Miss your chance to snag tickets to Adele’s tour stop in DC? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered. Bid on two floor seats during our live auction!

1. If all that’s not convincing enough, join us to help make our mission possible. Together, we’ll raise more than $500,000 to fund our poverty relief services here in the District. We can’t do that without you.

Purchase your tickets today!


Chairman’s Corner: Two Worlds of Housing

Welcome to Chairman’s Corner”, where our Board Chair, Paul Taskier, will write about a variety of topics that impact Bread for the City and indeed the community and nation at large. We invite you to Read, Enjoy and Share!

Economic viability in our society rests on three legs: education, employment, and housing. Of the three, having housing is arguably the most important. Without a place to live, achieving an education or retaining a job poses an almost insurmountable obstacle.

When the waitlist for public housing was closed in April 2013, there were 72,000 names on the waiting list. After conducting an extensive outreach campaign to locate and update the information for these individuals and families, DC Housing Authority reported in May 2015 that it has been reduced to 41,000. Regardless, the list still remains closed at this time. Concurrently, opportunities for housing have shrunk dramatically as the city continues to price longstanding residents out of the market.

The fact that the number of afBreadHousingAccessProgramfordable housing units has dropped by 50%–less than a quarter of which qualify as “low cost” housing–coupled with the fact that the city is seeing an unprecedented boom in luxury buildings means there really should be no surprise that our homelessness crisis is so expansive.

Indeed, in Bread for the City’s Northwest neighborhood the changes are mind-boggling as I look back on the 20+ years I have volunteered at Bread.  Kelsey Gardens, the Section 8 building once across the street is gone, replaced by a huge luxury apartment building – complete with restaurants, a pet supplies store, and a gym. The O Street market one block south is now a massive luxury apartment complex. The laundromat next door to our property, which was also an informal gathering place for folks in the neighborhood, is now a coffeehouse that is packed mostly with newly-arriving, white millennials.

All of this development, while aesthetically pleasing to some, destroys the long-standing fabric of our neighborhoods, and has driven out families — usually Black families who have lived here for generations–because they can no longer afford the places they’ve known as home.

Market rents are so high that working families at the minimum wage cannot afford a two bedroom apartment for a family of four. Even with the DC minimum wage rising in July to $11.50 an hour or the Mayor’s call for a $15.00 minimum wage by 2020, the fast-rising market rents require two-income households, and for both people to earn almost $30 per hour.find-a-new-home

So we are confronted with two worlds of housing: a world where people who can afford to do so, get to live in modern housing at market rates, and a world where people who the system has forsaken are increasingly marginalized and forced into homelessness or substandard housing.

The answer is clear: we must make systemic changes to the quality and amount of housing in DC. Over 60% of people living on extremely low incomes spend more than 50% of their income on housing. That is nearly double the 30% that the US Department of Housing and Urban Development sets as the standard measure of affordability. Obviously, that is economically unsustainable.

The lack of affordable housing in DC is a billion-dollar problem that will take us years to fix.  To make serious progress towards bottom-up economic growth and an overall reduction in poverty, the District needs to develop and preserve housing for residents living on low and moderate incomes.

Safe and secure housing is a critical piece in the success of communities, and we at Bread for the City, through our Advocacy Program, are committed to doing our part to change the dynamic and take the key steps needed to fix the problem.

Paul Taskier cropped







Support our Housing Advocacy Campaign

Ivy and Coney

We have the BEST neighbors!

Our pals on 7th Street at Ivy and Coney are hosting a crazy awesome fundraiser to benefit Bread for the City. On April 14th, Ivy and Coney invites you to put on your fancy pants and join them for all you can eat and drink from 7-11pm on IVY AND CONEY’S BRAND NEW ROOF DECK! Don’t want to dig up your prom dress? Don’t worry…a super fancy tuxedo t-shirt is included with your ticket.

And the best part is: Ivy and Coney will donate 100% of the event proceeds and 100% of all tips to Bread for the City!

It means so much to us to have good neighbors who support our mission. As Ivy and Coney’s Josh Saltzman puts it:

“For us, supporting Bread for the City means supporting the community and city that Ivy and Coney calls home. We are so impressed with all of the amazing programs the organization offers. Anything that helps spread the word about the great work BFC does, we’re 100% for.”

Aww, we <3 you, Ivy and Coney! Ivy and Coney Master Logo (1)

We can’t wait to party at Ivy and Coney on April 14th.  Join us!

Purchase Tickets!

Save the Date!

We’re so excited for Bread for the City’s Good Hope Gala!

On Saturday, April 30th, we’ll come together for an evening of fun and dancing at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. Guests will be treated to a live auction with some seriously cool items up for grabs (Adele tickets, anyone?) and lots to learn over the course of the night. Then, we’ll cap off the evening with a performance by the JoGo Project!

The food, fun, and dancing will be pretty sweet, but even more important is the fact that our gala is so critical in helping us meet the ever-growing need here in DC. With our community’s support, we’ll raise over $500,000, which will allow us to continue serving more than 34,000 low-income DC residents every year, providing food, clothing, medical care, legal and social services, in an atmosphere of dignity and respect.

Join more than 400 Bread for the City friends and partners at this awesome event by visiting Reserve your ticket today!

Questions? Contact Amanda Nover at (202) 386-7611 or pic






Purchase Tickets