Generous community donations key to Bread & Broth meal program at Lake Tahoe (Opinion)
Hunger is a hidden pervasive problem in many communities and South Lake Tahoe is no exception.
According to statistics researched and published by Feeding America, 1 in 8 adults, 1 in 7 seniors and 1 in 6 children in America are food insecure.
With the number of minimum wage positions, our shoulder season economy, and the cost of living in a resort community, the number of our neighbors impacted by hunger in the Lake Tahoe South Shore community is probably even greater.
With St. Theresa Bread & Broth organization’s goal of easing hunger, there is definitely a need for our programs to provide free food and free meals to our community members.
Bread & Broth holds two meals weekly throughout the year and that is due to generous time, money and food donations from many individuals, organizations and businesses in our community.
Everyone in the community is invited to enjoy the communal dinners offered every Monday and Friday at St. Theresa Church Grace Hall (Second Serving will return to the Lake Tahoe Community Presbyterian Church once the fire damage has been mitigated).
The Monday Meal, served from 4-5:30 p.m., is a hot, nutritious, full-course dinner and the Second Serving meal, served on Fridays from 4-5 p.m., is a soup served with a simple entrée.
All dinner guests are invited to take home food “giveaway” bags filled with dairy products (milk, eggs, and butter), fruits, vegetables, and breads and pastries, and containers filled with the evening’s meal leftovers.
Grocery stores, restaurants, businesses and individuals donate food and soup; monetary donors give generously; and B&B volunteers donate hours of their personal time to collect food, cook the meals, setup the tables, pack the food ‘giveaway bags,’ serve the dinners and cleanup after the meals.
In addition to our meals, our generous donors also support Bread & Broth’s B&B 4 Kids program which strives to ease hunger for food insecure children in our community.
During the school year, B&B 4 Kids volunteers pack up to 170 weekend food bags containing three dinners, two lunches, two breakfasts and four snacks, including fresh fruit, for K-8 LTUSD students.
Knowing that children can’t learn when they are hungry, B&B 4 Kids provides over 500 nutritious snack bars weekly to all of the 7 K-12 LTUSD schools to be distributed during the school day by teachers, counselors, nurses and administrative staff.
Also, when children are not provided meals by the schools during the summer break, B&B 4 Kids offers bags of food every Wednesday at Grace Hall and various child care centers for children up to the age of 18.
Over the nine weeks of the 2019 summer, B&B 4 Kids handed out 2,225 bags, an average of 247 bags weekly, to delighted children and their parents.
As an all volunteer, non-profit organization, Bread & Broth is always in need of donations and volunteers. What better way to have a purposeful life than to help others who struggle with the basic needs in life.
A Bread & Broth dinner is a meal resulting from contributions of a myriad of committed and generous sources in our community.
Bread & Broth’s “Adopt A Day of Nourishment”’ is another way to participate in feeding those in need in our community.
Nicole Gordon, D.D.S, sponsored the Monday Meal on Sept. 16 by making a $300 donation to help cover the costs of her Adopt a Day dinner. Her donation fed over 85 dinner guests.
Due to her patient load, Dr. Gordon was unable to send a sponsor crew to assist with the dinner, however, Bread & Broth appreciates her generosity and concern that everyone should enjoy a hot, nutritious dinner.
For information on B&B’s AAD sponsorships, donating, volunteering, or meal service information visit http://www.breadandbroth.org.
Carol Gerard is the director for Bread & Broth