Food & Friends to Receive $2 Million Gift

- June 20, 2017

Largest gift in organization’s history will build capacity to expand services

 

dsc07043June 20th, 2017—Food & Friends is thrilled to announce the commitment of a $2 million gift from Fleur, Sidney and Phyllis Bresler, and the Bresler Foundation, Inc. The gift was formally announced last night at the nonprofit’s annual signature fundraising event, Chef’s Best Dinner & Auction, where the Bresler family was honored for their two decades of support for the organization. Food & Friends provides medically-specialized meals, groceries, and nutrition counseling to D.C. area residents living with serious illnesses, working to ensure that anyone who is critically ill has the nourishment they need to manage their illness.

The multi-year gift is the largest in the organization’s history and will allow Food & Friends to vigorously invest in capacity for the future growth in order to meet the growing demand for its unique nutrition services.

“This generous gift by the Breslers will dramatically leverage our capacity to serve Washington area residents living with critical illnesses in both the near and distant future,” said Craig Shniderman, Executive Director of Food & Friends.

“I feel strongly about supporting organizations within the greater metropolitan area, my home, that are serving the needs of the community,” said Fleur Bresler. “Food & Friends certainly falls into that category by serving such a wide portion of the region.”

Secured in April, 2017, the gift will invest in the following areas as part of Food & Friends’ 2017-2020 strategic plan:

  • Specialized Nutrition Services – An investment in all facets of kitchen operations and meal delivery to prepare and deliver Groceries-To-Go and Home Delivered Meals to Food & Friends’ clients who have HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other serious illnesses that limit their ability to provide nourishment for themselves.
  • Capacity and Service Growth – An investment to complete the first phase of Food & Friends’ strategic plan by hiring both development and program staff to augment our budget with new revenue sources and increase nutrition services to serve more individuals in need.

In recognition of this transformational gift, Food & Friends’ state-of-the-art facility at 219 Riggs Road NE, DC will be named “The William P. Bresler Building during a special ceremony in Fall 2017. William “Bill” Bresler was Fleur’s son, Sidney’s brother and Phyllis’ brother-in law. A chef trained at the Culinary Institute of America, Bill was a volunteer in the Food & Friends kitchen and later became a client of the organization. Bill died of AIDS in 2001 and the building will be named in his memory.

“Knowing that this gift will enable Food & Friends to sustain their mission for years to come is extremely gratifying.  We are honored to have Bill recognized in such a meaningful way,” said Sidney and Phyllis Bresler.

Since moving into the building in 2004, Food & Friends staffing has remained largely the same even as the number of clients it has served has increased significantly. From 2005-2015, the number of meals delivered increased by 60% with a more than a 30% increase in clients. Volunteers have more than doubled from 4,000 to over 9,000 individuals annually, while staff only increased by 13% – seven people over 10 years. Having pushed current resources to their maximum productivity, this additional investment will be pivotal as Food & Friends’ advances its mission to improve the lives of people with serious illnesses by ensuring they have the nourishment and support they need to manage their illness.

The gift made by the Fleur, Sidney and Phyllis Bresler, and the Bresler Foundation, Inc. will be unique in its local impact. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s online database of charitable gifts of $1 million or more from individuals, only four individual gifts over $1 million have been made to social service organizations based in the Washington, DC metropolitan area in the last two years.

Since 1988, Food & Friends has delivered more than 20 million meals to over 30,000 individuals. Next year Food & Friends will celebrate 30 years serving the community.

ABOUT FOOD & FRIENDS

Food & Friends is a Washington, DC, based nonprofit organization that provides home-delivered, specialized meals, groceries and nutrition counseling to people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses. As a member of the Food Is Medicine Coalition, Food & Friends’ services are free-of-charge to recipients, who qualify solely based on their health status and nutritional need. Monday-Saturday, including holidays, staff and volunteers deliver to more than 5,300 square miles including the District of Columbia, seven counties in Maryland, and seven counties and six independent cities in Virginia. In 2017, the DC City Paper Reader’s Poll recognized Food & Friends as the best place to volunteer. For more information, please visit www.foodandfriends.org, Facebook (/foodandfriends), Twitter (@foodandfriends) or Instagram (@foodandfriendsdc).

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