“Anita and I are excited to announce that we have a new Web site for Our Lady's Pantry,” says director Tom Bullaro. “This has been made possible by a generous grant from the Allegany Franciscan Ministries via the Wimauma Common Good Initiative.”
The Franciscan Sisters of Allegany is a community of vowed women religious committed to honor the sacredness and dignity of every person. The Allegany Franciscan Ministries was formed with assets from hospitals in Florida, sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, who have been serving those in need in Florida since the late 1920's. Among other things, they launched their Common Good Initiative in 2014.
“Our Lady's Pantry has directly benefited from this program, which was specifically designed to make investments that lead to positive health outcomes for people in three underserved communities,” says Bullaro.
“Wimauma is one of those communities,” says Cheri Wright-Jones, Regional Vice President.
Wright-Jones explains that through multiple approaches, the Allegany Franciscan Ministries has made a long-term commitment to creating a healthier, safer, and more prosperous Wimauma in which our most vulnerable residents can live, learn, work, and play. Increasing access to healthy food is among those goals and closely ties in with the Pantry's mission to serve the poor.
“With these goals in mind, the Allegany Franciscan Ministries offered to partner with Our Lady's Pantry in updating their Web site with a Common Good Initiative Impact Fund,” says Wright-Jones.
“Allegany Franciscan Ministries has invested an amazing $17,500 in gifts to Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Mission to support Our Lady's Pantry since 2001,” says Tom. “We thank them for their care over the years.”
The domain name for our new Web site is almost the same as before. You can visit us at: https://www.OurLadysPantry.com (See the "s," noting a secure site, after "http.")
Bullaro points out that our updated site is a bit larger and more user friendly than our original online presence. Because it is easier to navigate, anyone who wishes can learn who we are and get answers to any questions they may have.
Importantly, our new site offers a search engine, which our first Web site did not have. It also enables easy access to our stories. While stories that appear in our local newsletters must often be trimmed for lack of space, our online stories may include more details of interest to readers.
Another distinction is that we worked with our Web designer to make our site accessible to screen readers in a way we don't fully understand. According to Wikipedia, “a screen reader is a form of assistive technology which is essential to people who are blind, as well as useful to people who are visually impaired, illiterate, or have a learning disability. Essentially, screen readers are software applications that attempt to convey what people with normal eyesight see on a display to their users via non-visual means, like text-to-speech, sound icons, or a Braille device.” One component of this technology, for example, is to describe any images in a story in plain text to enable screen readers to read out the alternative text for visually impaired users.
Our new site also has what is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and meta descriptions in the background. This feature allows search engines like Google to find our Pantry more easily, for example, if someone were to go online searching for food in or around Wimauma.
Our new Web site also includes a gallery of photographs. Just click on “About Us” and then scroll all the way down. As you likely know, we do not take photos of our clients to protect their privacy. Photos of our Pantry family, therefore, serve as our sole means to illustrate the story of our Pantry and the passion of our helpers. Going forward, we wanted to celebrate our family, both those who have gone before us, and those who currently labor on site, week after week. If you do not wish to be included in our gallery for any reason, please just let us know and we shall remove your photo immediately.
Regrettably, online donations are not yet enabled. We shall let you know when online donations are possible.