Considering the hundreds of people it serves, Bridges to Hope in St. John’s, Newfoundland, is surprisingly small. It’s actually a small storefront with a kitchen in the back and a converted garage that serves as the food bank. But for the people in this area, it is indeed a bridge to hope with a toy and book lending library, a community kitchen, and the food bank, called the food pantry. At the heart of the work is the community kitchen, which teaches people how to prepare nutritious meals on a budget and supplies the food pantry with 80 loaves of bread per week and fresh soup. “I prepare the week’s menus from the store flyers, buy all the ingredients, talk about how to shop on a budget, prepare the ingredients, and then we cook together,” explains Lois Dinn, the kitchen’s coordinator. Today’s menu is burritos. The people in the class can cook enough to take home to their family for supper at a cost of $1 a meal. “I’ve learned a lot here,” says Paddy, who has been coming to the kitchen for several weeks, “and we’re eating much healthier.” While there is a heavy emphasis on food, Bridges also provides over 500 back-to-school backpacks for their clients’ children. Supported by Cochrane Street United Church, volunteers fill backpacks with pencils, paper, math sets, rulers, coloured pencils, erasers, glue sticks, and exercise books. Everything is ready for back-to-school so the children can start with the same supplies as everyone else. Thanks to our contributions for Mission and Service, this work brings hope. Please continue to give generously so that Bridges to Hope can love and serve our neighbours.
Mighty and tender God, through our gifts for Mission and Service we respond to your call to mend the world.