We are grateful to WBAL-TV reporter Megan Pringle for her touching reflection and for her commitment to concern for our neighbors experiencing homelessness, poverty and food insecurity.
I have been working as a reporter in Baltimore for 13 years. You experience a kaleidoscope of emotions with this job. One day you are reporting on a heartbreaking tragedy, the next day can put you in front of astonishing generosity. Like everyone, I have found myself in unfamiliar territory with this COVID-19 pandemic.
When it became evident that the virus was going to change our everyday lives, I found myself at Our Daily Bread Employment Center. Throughout the years, I have done many stories at Our Daily Bread. In 2017, when they celebrated 35 years of serving hot meals to Baltimore’s most vulnerable population, I had the privilege of going back into the kitchen with their volunteers to see how they had (at that point) managed to serve 7.4 million meals.
In February of 2010, our region was paralyzed by back-to-back snowstorms. Businesses, schools, and oﬃces were shut down. Our Daily Bread was not. Their staﬀ and volunteers found a way to serve hundreds of meals despite the unprecedented amount of snow.
Now, here we are in a time of extraordinary challenges associated with mandatory shutdowns, supply chain concerns, and the call to limit our contact with others.
As a reporter, I was curious and concerned about how Our Daily Bread would continue their commitment to the community under these circumstances. How could they serve 700-800 meals every weekday without volunteers? Is it possible to feed breakfast and lunch without a dining room? It turns out, it is. It’s not easy, but it is possible. To keep their dedicated volunteers safe, they asked them to stay home. Their employees who are considered nonessential are now stepping up and filling that role. Through grab-and-go, they are still handing out meals.
It takes ingenuity to continue to feed those who are hungry during this extraordinary time, but Our Daily Bread continues to do with it and compassion and dignity. In a time when everything feels unfamiliar it is reassuring to know Our Daily Bread has not forgotten about the people they serve. They are still here and it seems nothing can change that.