Accounting Dept.

Calculate Savings

One of the first things I wanted to do after becoming President of Daily Bread was to increase transparency into Pantry operations. For most of the time Daily Bread has been around, this wasn't really a priority, because we were small enough that most folks knew what was going on, or at least knew whom to ask. 

Starting with the renovation of the Pantry in 2019, and then with the massive increase in guest numbers in 2020, this situation changed dramatically. Our revenue grew exponentially, as did our expenses, and with that the need to adopt practices more suitable for our new size. This Newsletter was the first step to keeping everyone informed about what was going on. An overhaul of our accounting systems was next, so I and the rest of the Board could have more real-time visibility in how we were doing on the money side of things.

With the help of our new Treasurer, Kay Gelfman, that work is now largely complete. There is still more to be done, but we are definitely heading in the right direction.

For this first glimpse into Pantry finances, I'm presenting here three things:

  • Our audited 2020 Accounts

  • A 2020 Statement of Activity (largely duplicative of the audited numbers, but included to make comparison with 2021 easier)

  • A 2021 YTD Statement of Activity (there is still a small lag in recording income and expense, so this is not quite indicative of how the year will end up -- but it clearly shows the direction of travel).

Some observations:

  • We are in pretty good shape financially, mainly due to three things:

    • A very significant increase in donations during the early months of the pandemic in 2020. This was driven in large part by the amount of media attention focused on Food Banks and Food Pantries during this time. As expected, there was a material drop-off in donations in 2021 as that media attention turned elsewhere, and many folks assumed the crisis was over.​ Even so, the small cushion in our cash position from 2020 has been preserved, if not really enhanced, in 2021.

    • Since the beginning of the pandemic, all of the food from our Food Bank partner, Connecticut Foodshare, has been provided free of charge. We have been assured this huge benefit will continue at least through June 2022.

    • We have a solid base of loyal donors who are well informed enough to know the pandemic-related crisis is by no means over

  • Despite this relatively good position, we cannot be complacent. Our major donor base, though loyal, is quite limited. And as many of you know, we may not be able to stay in our present location indefinitely: moving elsewhere will be a costly endeavor.​

  • The financial statements greatly under-represent the size of our operations because they do not reflect the value of food we distribute that comes from the Food Bank, in-kind donations, or food "rescued" from stores​

  • To give you an idea of how much the Pantry has changed in the last three years, in 2019 we spent just $10,500 on food purchases. In 2021, we will spend around $120,000 - an almost twelvefold increase. And that is with all Food Bank food provided free of charge!

  • The Budget for 2022 has not yet been approved by the Board, so I will hold off presenting that until the next Newsletter. As things stand right now, though, it will not look materially different from the 2021 Statement of Acticity, adjusted for inflation.

As with all presentations of accounts, the numbers hide almost as much as they reveal, and can be sliced, diced, and interpreted in many ways. If you are at all interested in this aspect of the Pantry, I would encourage you to ask me questions about anything you see here. If I don't know the answers, I will do my best to find out.