by Chandelle Ulmer
Contributing Writer, ’16, Exercise Science
For the past two months, I have helped lead Our Daily Bread, located in the Broad Street Church of Christ. Every week, volunteers plan the week’s meal, shop for food, set up the kitchen, prepare the meal, and clean up afterwards. Due to most college students and faculty going home for the summer, volunteers were in shorter supply. But on the positive side, this made it possible for me to see every aspect of how the kitchen works.
At Our Daily Bread, we seek to connect with our community to not only fill their bellies, but fill them with a sense of community and show them that we care. Every Friday, we open the doors of the Broad Street Church of Christ at 11:30 and invite people to come in and eat, but what we provide, I believe, is much more than that.
In addition to serving, we also take the time to sit down and have a real conversation with our guests. Volunteers first make plates and take them out to guests, then make their own plates, sit down, and visit with guests to see where they have come from and where they are going. For a college student, it is a wonderful learning experience. Most guests have been places and seen things that the younger generation would have never heard about otherwise.
The kitchen works on a very strict budget each week. Not only do we try to save on costs, but we also try to make filling and nutritious meals for our guests. This summer, we saw a record-shattering surge of guests: fifty-four, our highest number yet. Because of this, we had to rethink our strategy on how much food to buy to still come under our $50 budget every week. Because it was the summer and many people were moving, we saw many new faces. We enjoyed the increase in numbers and cherish that we’ve still been able to maintain regulars.
Our Daily Bread continues to grow as time goes on and we are always looking for volunteers to come and serve or give donations. As far as the requirements for donations go, the general rule is that if you would not eat it, then they would not, either. So be mindful to not donate expired goods. We are currently in pursuit of more sponsors and donors to continue our efforts, as well.
If you are looking to volunteer, please contact Evan Brasselle at firstname.lastname@example.org, or ask anyone in the Servant Scholars program for more information.