In 2023, the LIFEworks Project experienced remarkable growth, marked by a series of achievements that made a positive impact on our community. The spring and summer brought exciting opportunities as we secured the Ntelos/Lumos and the Waynesboro Community Development Block Grants. These invaluable grants became the catalyst for our continued mission to eliminate food insecurity in our area. With the generous support of these grants and the implementation of a dynamic community sponsorship program, we took swift action to address challenges posed by the end of pandemic EBT
and the reduction in SNAP benefits for some of our seniors. The result? The birth of the River City Bread Basket, a client choice, grocery outlet strategically located in a food desert along Delphine Avenue. In Waynesboro. The numbers paint a powerful picture – between January and September, LIFEworks made an incredible 752 hand-to-door deliveries to seniors and families, serving a total of 1216 adults and children. With the opening of the Bread Basket on October 7th we saw an impressive 877 shopping
visits, providing nourishment to 1262 individuals and families - from October to December we served more people in 3 months than we did the entire 9 months before! Because of our partners the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Walmart, and Food Lion, generous sponsors, and faithful volunteers the River City Bread Basket is positively addressing hunger in SAW, offering a diverse range of nutritious options
to become a beacon of accessibility for healthy food.
Here's to a year of growth, resilience, and community support!
LIFEworks continues to have an impact on food recovery, saving 45,2278 lbs of food from our partners Walmart and Food Lion (valued at $76,887) . That, coupled with 74,570 lbs of food from the food bank, has enabled us to provide a total of 143,757 meals to individuals and families in need in 2023!.
The LIFEworks Project would like to recognize and thank the River City Bread Basket Shelf Sponsors as well as all of the other invaluable families and individuals that who help us to meet the needs of families in our area:
River City Bread Basket Shelf Sponsors
Families & Individuals
…and many others who lent, and continue to lend, a hand to uplift others.
Miss Patty Duncan, one of our regular guests shared her thoughts in an interview with the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank on opening day - Patty, a wife, mother, and grandmother, was a shuttle service employee and cared for her grandchildren while one daughter worked. But now, Patty cannot work because of complications from recent shoulder surgery. Her husband, a municipal employee, is the sole earner in the family of
three. She explained that their income is just above the guidelines to receive SNAP (Food Stamps) or other assistance. Patty is grateful for a new local pantry, River City Bread Basket, a partner in the Food Bank's network.
Patty spoke with us at the pantry ribbon cutting ceremony. "I love it. It's going to be good to come in and pick what you want. It's going to help everybody that will come here. And I know it's going to help my family, one hundred percent", she said.
Patty detailed how this will make life easier for many people, as there are few places to get groceries on her side of town. As for the food, she said, "We like a lot of fruits and vegetables and, of course, meat. We're really not picky".
After visiting River City Bread Basket, Patty, who has been a guest of LIFEworks Project, an affiliated mobile food pantry, described the folks who operate both organizations, "I really don't know them [well] personally, but I feel like I've known them forever, and it's not just when I come [here] they talk to me if they see me out in public; they'll holler, "Hi, Miss Patty! Which, to me, that makes a lot of difference. It makes me feel important."
Patty continued, "I think God sent them to do this. I really do. They have a heart of gold."
The LIFEworks Project and the River City Bread Basket are able to do what we do because of the generous support of people like you. We are doing this – together!
Service 1st and Solidarity not Charity,