Published: Friday, July 13, 2012
The Bread of Life board is considering opening the centre on Saturday to serve lunch, after the suggestion was made at its last meeting.
Bread of Life is currently open Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
"We have not decided for sure yet if there is a need for it," said Cindy Sjoholm, Bread of Life administrator. "We are considering it if we can find a volunteer group that would come in and do it."
Should Bread of Life open on Saturday, the organization would need at least six additional volunteers."We need somebody who is able to supervise. We need somebody to cook. We need a clean-up crew and a serving crew," Sjoholm said.
Sjoholm said Bread of Life feeds between 60 to 80 people every day. "There was one day there about a month ago where we served 110 people," she said.
While she said that the yearly number of people served at the centre is stable, it is the groups of people that change. This year, Bread of Life is feeding more and more students, which can be problematic when they want lunches."We are unable to do that. It is difficult for us, because the food that we receive from donations has to be cooked,"
Sjoholm said. Bread of Life's main customers are single people without children, senior citizens and the working poor. Single people often live on welfare cheques, which vary between $600 and $700 per month."By the time they pay their rent, they have nothing left," Sjoholm said.
"These people have $70 left to survive the whole month, to try and buy food with that and anything else that they might need, like shampoo. They cannot do it."
Moreover, due to the rising costs of living, Bread of Life's customers suffer from poor nutrition. The increase costs mean that they cannot afford fruits and vegetables as often as they should.
"We get produce three days a week from the grocery stores," Sjoholm said.
"I am always surprised to see the fruits and vegetables go first. I put out fruit in the morning and it is gone."The Bread of Life board of directors will meet again in September. The board members will make their decision on Saturday meals in the fall.