A snowy greeting from our office to each of you! We have endured the kind of winter that we remember as children, but we have not seen anything like this in years. We are thankful that everyone stayed safe, as we have lost five Pop-Up Pantries due to the weather that could not be rescheduled because of a variety of reasons. However, the financial loss to Ruby’s Pantry exceeds $25,000 this month. But that’s not the sad part. The most serious thing is the 1500 plus families that have gone without food for this month from us. We are so apologetic about this.
On that same note, we have been very concerned about the wellbeing of these families, and I encourage you to come to your distribution location in March and we will try to make up for the losses. Families who depend on Ruby’s Pantry to get through their food needs for the month are our biggest concern and we have been praying for you.
2018 was a great year for us. Our annual report will be out in a few weeks and you will be delighted to see what God has done. We also have worked very hard to keep our trucks and trailers going and to haul the approximate 18,000,000 pounds of food that we handled this past year. We served almost 190,000 families through volunteers who gave over 200,000 hours to their communities. The money we shared with the local sponsoring churches in Minnesota and Wisconsin was about $357,000. Organizationally, we now have about 60 employees which has been a wonderful number. About 40 of these employees work directly with Ruby’s Pantry. We are running 15 semi-tractors and 30 semi-trailers. We have been blessed with the help we need.
In the process of this phenomenal growth there is always need. Yesterday we purchased a 55,000 square foot building in Waupaca, WI to be our distribution center, replacing the 20,000 square foot building we presently own. We are now in the process of selling our present building and using the funds to improve our new building. In the meantime, we are also in need of funds to make corrections to the new building in Waupaca, WI. If you know anyone looking for a great 20,000 square foot building in Waupaca, please have them contact us immediately.
We do need to purchase a couple more trucks and a few more trailers for Waupaca. We would love to get donated trucks and trailers, but it is usually not possible. So, if you are aware of any trucks or trailers for sale or for anyone willing to donate, please let us know as soon as possible.
Internally, we are also working on improving our volunteer and guest experience through a new and improved internet site which will be mobile friendly. We are nearing our next $20,000 payment for our completely new internet system that is being built for us for $75,000. We have paid $20,000 down, but another $20,000 is due March 10th. Your help would be deeply appreciated.
As you can see, we have been blessed through the efforts of our 76 Pop-Up Pantry locations. But, there is also a huge expense in moving forward. We are so thankful for the wonderful effort that was made in November and December with year-end donations to help offset many of the Ruby’s Pantry operating costs. Unfortunately, now is the time that we need more funds than the Pop-Up Pantry distributions offer.
If you could make every effort to consider a donation to help us through the winter crunch, Ruby’s Pantry would truly appreciate it. It is not easy to ask for donations, but from time to time we have to ask for help and this is one of those times. To donate to Ruby’s Pantry, visit our Donations Page or mail your donation today to Ruby’s Pantry, 5833 Pecan Street, North Branch, MN 55056.
In His Hand,
Founder and Executive Director