Karalyn Stevens talks about the Daily Bread cafe and their current fundraiser to bring a Job Club to Brentwood.
The Daily Bread cafe was established in September 2018 by a group of volunteers from Hutton. It came about after a series of successful ‘drop in’ days organised by St Peter’s church during the school closures in late 2017 and beginning of 2018. We experienced a large amount of snow fall and a water leak at the school. St Peter’s church was opened on these days to provide a place for people to come and have a hot meal, particularly for those whose children would normally have a free school meal, so that families did not have to worry about the extra unexpected expense on those days.
Some of the food came from the local school, and bread and cake items came from local supermarkets. The days were really popular with local families so when an opportunity came up to receive surplus food from the local M&S store on a daily basis, the food ministry was born and so was the Daily Bread pop-up cafe!
We set up The Daily Bread Café which is open two to three days a week for free refreshments including a hot meal and social interaction, the community are able to come and chat whilst eating and drinking together in a Covid safe environment.
Bags of food are available Monday – Saturday between 10am and 12pm. We are able to provide bags of Bread, Fruit, Vegetables, Cupboard Essentials as well as Fresh and Frozen produce. We do not ask for proof of income or benefits. We provide bags of food for approximately 60 families on a daily basis.
We have a team of volunteers (approx 160) that make daily collections from a variety of supermarkets and shops from the surrounding area. We also make regular collections from a Food Warehouse outside the area 3/4 times a week. All food collected is then sorted and bagged up and given out to the community. We also make deliveries to the vulnerable and those self-isolating.
Our volunteers carry out a range of jobs:
1. Collections – we make collections at local and non local supermarkets every evening and some mornings.
2. Unloading & Packing – the collections are bought back to the hub and are unloaded from the cars and vans by the unloading team. The food is refrigerated or frozen and the shelves stacked.
3. Food Distribution – a team come in every morning to pack bags and distribute either at the food hub which is manned between 10am and 12pm Monday – Saturday or by making deliveries to those self isolating, shielding, the elderly and those unable to get to the hub.
4. Cafe – on Tuesdays and Fridays the Café is open for the community to come and have free refreshments and a hot meal. The Café team consists of cooks, those providing drinks and cakes, cleaning staff and volunteers that provide for some much needed social interaction and offer advice.
5. Administration – lots of work goes on in the background such as Grant Applications, Recruitment of new Volunteers, Cafe and Hub Rotas, maintaining databases and Accounting.
Job Club – New Project
Our vision is to expand the services we offer to include a Job Club. This will enable the members of our community to come and use the computers to search for jobs, check emails, take online courses. Our members can ask advice from various agencies such as the Job Centre, Citizens Advice Bureau, Christians Against Poverty, Peabody, Red Cross and many more.
The DWP have agreed to come along to our Job Club once a week to offer advice on Universal Credit and other Benefits and also the Job Centre.
You can help the Daily Bread Cafe by donating to the project – visit their fundraising page at www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/thedailybreadjobclub