Sarah Twill, lecturer of the Wright State University (WSU), reports from the study week in Dayton, Ohio.
On Tuesday, July 4th, the Swiss and US students and faculty served lunch at the House of Bread. Each day, the House of Bread serves a hot and nutritious lunchtime meal to 250-300 people. The agency’s mission is: to prevent hunger and serve as a bridge to beneficial community resources.
The House of Bread employs an executive director, an operations manager, a chef, part-time security guards and dishwashers. None of the employees are social workers. The staff is overseen by a board of directors who manage policies and procedures, budgeting, and fundraising.
It costs $3000 a day to operate the House of Bread. Funding comes from several sources. Two local groceries donate food each day. The United Way, a nonprofit who distributes grants, provides some of the funding. Several fundraisers are held each year: a Hunger 5k walk/run, a black tie gala, and an empty bowls soup dinner. Individuals also make personal donations. For example, a donation of $250 covers the cost of morning coffee for 10 days, $150 pays for dishwashing and cleaning supplies for a month, or $10 buys a gallon of salad dressing. Volunteers make up most of the work force. They pick up the food from the groceries, help prepare the food, serve the guests and clean up. In order to operate, 8-12 volunteers are needed daily.
While at the House of Bread, we helped host the 4th of July picnic. Before the guests arrived, we helped chop fruit salad, make pasta and egg salads, and grill burgers. At 11am, we served the lunch. In addition to the burgers, chips, and salads, dessert and lemonade were also served. It was a unique day at the House of Bread because lunch was served outside. Following lunch, we helped clean up by washing dishes, moving tables and chairs, and cleaning up the kitchen. Once the cleaning tasks were done, Jenn, the operations manager talked about the mission of the agency.
We had a bit of rest time before we went to Doug’s house for more traditional 4th of July celebrations. We ate, drank, and got to know new friends. Some even went swimming.