The Director of the St. John’s Bread and Life Center featured in Huffington Post series Food Informants , a week-in-the-life series profiling fascinating people in the food world. We hope it will give you a first-hand look at the many different corners of the food industry.
“In June of 2005, Butler took the position as Executive Director at St. John’s Bread and Life. During his tenure there, he has worked to meet the growing need of emergency food in the community, provide those services with the greatest dignity and develop strategies to reduce individuals and families need for emergency food. In June of 2008, Bread and Life moved into a new $8,000,000 state-of-the-art facility; featuring expanded space, a digital choice food pantry, medical offices, a library, a non-denominational chapel, classroom, demonstration kitchen, and proper space to meet the increased demand of Bread and Life’s guest, fully paperless data collection, and swipe card system for hot meals.
“Throughout this, Bread and Life has grown to a $3,000,000 annual budget and has served over 500,000 meals annually. As part of Bread and Life’s commitment to providing nutritious food, it has grown its partnership with the sustainable food community. Over the past two years Bread and Life has brought over $200,000 worth of sustainably grown New York State products into the community. It continues to partner with the Brooklyn and New York food community to address the issues of Hunger and poverty.
Read Anthony Butler’s diary below to learn about how he feeds an ever-growing population.
Monday, June 18
9:00am: I took the day off to catch up on household chores. My wife Jeanne had knee replacement surgery, so I’ve been shuttling between work and the hospital for the last week. I took the morning to finish up the laundry and house cleaning.
10:00am: I took the bus with my shopping cart to go grocery shopping. Living in Brooklyn, I had to make the choice between a house and a car; I went with the house. This is my first trip to a new store. Our local Key Food is closing down — another loss in NYC of a mid-size neighborhood supermarket. It will be replaced by a large Walgreens. My neighborhood, like most neighborhoods, doesn’t need a large chain.
3:00pm: Off to St. Luke’s Hospital to visit my wife. She is in rehab. Luckily I remembered to call before I came up because I’m required to fulfill the shopping list for she and her hospital roommate Carolyn. I’ve been very impressed with St. Luke’s — not just a beautiful part of the city, but staff are kind and very helpful, which really does speed the healing process. I hope this principle applies at Bread & Life as well.
7:00pm: I’m back in the neighborhood. I called ahead for Lambahjin pizza from our favorite local restaurant, Bedawi. It has a beautiful garden and great, affordable Jordanian food. Post-pizza, I strolled over to the ice cream store where my daughter is working (yet another Butler working in food service) to drop off her dinner. I’m pleased she has a summer job. I picked up a bottle of wine and I’m going to sit and relax in my favorite room of the house — my garden.
Tuesday, June 19…