“I’m struck by the courage and humility it takes to ask for help. The most rewarding aspect of my work is building relationships with our clients, chatting with them, getting to know their story, and knowing how much one bag of groceries means to so many households,” Mrs. Clare Mello-Robinson, Executive Director of The Eliza DoLittle Society.
Founded in 2002 by Margaret Vaucrosson and Tony Forrester, The Eliza DoLittle Society (TEDS) is committed to providing healthy and nutritious solutions to anyone experiencing food insecurity.
In 2019, TEDS provided approximately 46,000 meals. With the COVID 19 pandemic, hundreds of families were faced with food insecurity. Many continue to struggle. In March of 2021 TEDS experienced a 30 % increase in client registrations. From July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, there were 13, 235 visits to their Food Pantry. In October 2021, there were 4,608.
TEDS mission is to provide healthy and nutritious solutions to the food insecure in Bermuda with the aim of enhancing their quality of life. And by doing so, reduce the cost of food, and the physical and emotional stress of having to choose between buying groceries, paying rent, utilities or for medical care. TEDS Food Pantry is stocked with food items, as well as personal and household items that have been donated by local organizations, individuals, businesses, grocers, farmers, retailers, and wholesale agencies. TEDS also purchases food with donated funds. These donations help the organization provide a bag or bags (depending on household size) of groceries to their clients. Each bag contains a variety of fresh, frozen, and canned foods that are rotated throughout the month to maintain a variety of options.
“Registered clients can come in, get their bag of food, then can choose additional items from the baskets of donated food we have at the front of the pantry,” says Mrs. Mello-Robinson, TEDS Executive Director.
The Food Pantry is located on 64 Middle Road in Warwick. Clients are asked to sign-up at www.theelizadolittlesociety.bm. If you do not have access to a computer, call 333-4483 to register over the phone. You may also stop by the pantry and fill in a registration form or take the form home, fill it in and bring it back. Once you have registered you can receive your bag of food.
The pantry is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday form 10:00am – 2:00pm Saturdays from 10:00am- 12:30pm
Clients are eligible to collect a bag of groceries for their household once per week.
Clients are required to present the valid photo ID used on the registration form.
Clients may have a family member or friend collect a bag on their behalf. That person will be required to present of copy of their ID as well as a copy of the clients’ ID.
Eliza DoLittle does not deliver food.
All clients must observe the Government COVID 19 guidelines of social distancing, wearing a mask and hand sanitizing.
Due to scheduled maintenance, the pantry will be closed from December 24th, reopening on Tuesday January 11th, 2022.
TEDS continually strives to increase their community awareness. Goals for 2022 include participating in a collaborative group to address food insecurity, the purchasing of additional refrigerator and freezer units, and an industrial shipping container to expand the pantry’s storage space by 30% to 40%.
“Through our ‘Healthy Bag’ initiative, TEDS is working towards expanding the content of each grocery bag, so it lasts longer, and improving the health of each bag. Specifically, transitioning from 100% canned meats and vegetables to a mix of frozen meats and vegetables, fresh vegetables (when available) and fresh bread in every bag. This will help reduce sodium, fat, and sugar contents, and contribute to lowering the cost of food,” says Mrs. Mello-Robinson.
Wherever possible, TEDS also supports and collaborates with other local charitable partners such as churches, rest homes, and Meals on Wheels.
“We’d like to expand our services, have a wider community reach. Become a repository and distributor for food and be able to re-direct food from vendors and donors so nothing is wasted, and we create more food security in Bermuda,” says Mrs. Mello-Robinson.
If you or your organization would like to help with a donation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Food items are welcome in the following categories:
Close to expiry.
Damaged or incorrect packaging.
Surplus to requirement.
TEDS Food Pantry is staffed by volunteers who sign-up clients, pack food bags, sort donations, pack the shelves and pantry baskets. Volunteers also assist with special events such as tag days, Food Matters Month, fundraisers, and with administrative duties such as data entry, filing and clerical tasks as needed.
“We are blessed with people who have stepped forward to volunteer. On Saturdays we have students helping, working towards their community service hours,” says Mrs. Mello-Robinson. TEDS is currently at full volunteer capacity, but if you’re interested in putting your name down for future opportunities email: email@example.com. All volunteers are required to fill in an application form, and must treat clients with respect, compassion and understand the importance of confidentiality.
Holidays can mean challenging time for many families. This year TEDS is supplementing their regular grocery bags with some seasonal extras. Donations of the following items are greatly appreciated:
Canned Pie filling (apple, pumpkin etc.)
Frozen pie shells or pastry dough
Butter or Margarine
Dish washing liquid
Individually wrapped toilet paper/Paper towel
Hand and Body soap and lotion
Toothpaste and toothbrushes
Donated items must be in good condition and safely consumable. Items that have exceeded the expiry date or that are damaged or incorrectly packaged will not be accepted.
For further information: TEDS at www.theelizadolittlesociety.bm. Tel: 333-4483.