Celebrating St. Francis of Assisi
Happy Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. We at Franciscan Bread for the Poor follow the teachings and example of St. Francis. We put the gospel into action reaching out to the poor and marginalized in our world today. Like St. Francis, we realize that we gain much by living his example. Francis taught us that our healing comes from helping others to heal and that in our giving we ultimately receive. Our volunteer team is grateful for the opportunity to be of service to those in our neighborhood who are in need.
We have grown and we continue to look for ways to better reach the people in our very midst who need not just food, but the Franciscan joy that we bring them every day.
In addition to feeding between 4-500 people on our breadline every morning, we deliver and supply groceries to nearly 150 households weekly. We continue to offer all our families who receive weekly groceries choices of top quality food items inclusive of meat, poultry, eggs and fresh produce. Those who come to the breadline every morning receive sandwiches, milk, juice, cake, a second peanut butter and jelly sandwich and coffee. Starting in November, we will be adding instant oatmeal as an option during the colder winter months.
Franciscan Bread for the Poor is now ministering with The Dwelling Place and two well-known agencies in Manhattan also dedicated to the care of the poor and marginalized.
The Dwelling Place which was started in 1977 by the Allegany Franciscan Sisters is the oldest women’s shelter in NYC. At full capacity the Dwelling Place houses fifteen women. Those who live at the Dwelling Place are offered the opportunity for continuing education and vocational training so that they can enter the work force better equipped as independent women. Every week they place their order and receive groceries based on that week’s menu planning for their guests.
Create, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization located in Harlem started by Fr. Ben Taylor, OFM in 1970. The programs of Create include chemical dependency treatment, permanent housing and support services of single parent women, medical evaluations, counseling services, peer support groups, 12 step programs, vocational counseling, job preparation/placement and day services for the elderly. These programs can be an invaluable help to our men and women who seek our help every morning on the breadline. We sponsor and assist 30 families with groceries.
The Relief Bus whose outreach consists of former school buses customized into mobile resource centers go out to various locations to help the poor and homeless in a variety of ways. Aside from also serving a hearty bowl of soup, the Relief Bus connects people with shelters, job training, medical care, detox and faith-based drug/alcohol rehabilitation centers. They have incredible up to date resource connections around the city that can also benefit our guests on the breadline. We contribute fresh fruit, juices and milk every Wednesday and Friday.
These agencies have the same philosophy and spirit of Franciscan Bread for the Poor in that they strive to help all people in need in a non-judgmental attitude of love with dedicated joyful volunteer teams.
Our Franciscan Bread for the Poor volunteer team will continue to grow in order to further reach out to those in our community who need our help. We are becoming a well known community agency grounded in the life and joy of our founder St. Francis of Assisi.