Getting to Zero

September 10, 2018

By Edd Conboy

Of all the responsibilities that the BSM staff is charged with, one that they take very seriously is being a good steward of the financial resources that so many members of our community invest in our mission and vision. We know that there are hundreds (if not thousands) of other worthy causes and effective organizations that our donors could support, so we are grateful beyond words that so many choose to support BSM’s goal of alleviating the suffering of some of our most vulnerable neighbors.

A case in point involves our kitchen staff. They keep careful track of how much it costs to provide some 1,200 high quality meals each week. Just looking at the ingredients alone, at the beginning of this year a plate (or bowl) of our delicious meals cost $3.09 to produce. Today that cost is down to $1.86. And our goal is to get that number to zero.

How can the kitchen team do this? Well the obvious answer is: not by themselves. One of our partners is Carversville Farm Foundation, an organic farm in Bucks County dedicated to growing and distributing fresh produce to organizations like ours. So far this year they have delivered some 5,000 pounds of produce, not only in the form of fresh vegetables, but also beef and eggs as well.  These deliveries have saved us $22,000 so far.  Another wonderful partner is Philabundance. They have delivered more than 5,000 pounds of fresh produce as well, saving us about $8,000. The Philadelphia Horticultural Society’s Farm for the City initiative has realized 2,200 pounds of fresh produce further reducing our costs by $3,500. Finally, our newest partner in this endeavor is Rastelli Foods Group. They are a family owned food distribution firm that is committed to finding the gaps in our food supply chain which will get us to that magic number of zero.

Every dollar our kitchen crew does not have to spend on food is a dollar we can invest in other services that can get us closer to realizing our vision for the future.  That vision is one where “every person will be seen, recognized and restored”. It is a vision where “we will all be well fed in every aspect of life and we will be made whole…”

Because of the careful stewardship of our kitchen crew, and the generous support of our partners, we can provide to our guests not only food that nourishes their bodies, but also food to nourish their souls.

And it’s all about getting to zero.