My name is Stefanie Katzman. I’ve been involved with DREAM for many years, and was an honoree at their 2020 A League of Our Own celebration – only earlier this year, although it seems like a lifetime ago! Today, I want to share the most recent chapter of my DREAM story.
My family runs a produce wholesale/distribution company called S. Katzman Produce that’s been in our family for four generations, so I know a thing or two about the importance of the food we give our families—and how food is always about more than just food. Even (or maybe especially) in times of dire need, like our City has faced this year, food means keeping the fridge stocked and our kids from going hungry—but it’s also about community, dignity, heritage, and hope. Something as simple as the right spice or side dish can make the difference between a house and a home.
So when I reached out to DREAM back in March about food insecurity in their community as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we knew that we needed to figure out a way to help. My team worked with DREAM to mobilize quickly, and by April, we had a free weekly food distribution set up for all DREAM families. Since then, we’ve distributed nearly 9,000 bags of fresh fruit and produce.
Many members of the DREAM community joined us there as volunteers, and I know they saw the same things I did—families with their little ones, masked and lined up six feet apart, arriving to pick up a bag or two of fruit and produce, but leaving with so much more. At a time when it was near impossible to gather together, this was the next closest thing to breaking bread as a community.
We’re all part of this community because we recognize the powerful difference DREAM makes in the lives of its students and families—and because we’re committed to being a part of that impact, too. This holiday season is the perfect day to reaffirm that commitment by making a year-end gift to DREAM’s #NoDREAMDeferred campaign. Every day, the folks at DREAM are working to ensure that this year and every year, not one of their scholars needs to pass up on their dreams.
From me and from all of us at S. Katzman Produce, I’m wishing you and your loved ones a safe and healthy holiday and a very happy New Year.