By SHERIDAN CYR
Bread for Life revealed their brand new commercial refrigerator and freezer on July 23. Officials are applauding the extra space to accomodate donations and food overflow, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
“We’re doing food recovery now, so we go out to local FoodShare partners and recover food that grocery stores are getting rid of,” said BFL executive director Donna Ayer.
FoodShare is a program that connects surplus food to a network of 300 partner food pantries, meal programs and mobile FoodShare sites. They work with grocery stores to recover food items and make connections with places like Bread for Life.
It’s hard to predict. Sometimes BFL can receive 5 pounds of food. At other times, it can be as much as 130 pounds.
“We never know how much we will get that day,” Ayer said. She pointed out several large boxes of orange juice placed neatly in the new fridge that normally would have been left behind. “We would not be able to collect the food if we did not have this storage space. This gives us a lot more flexibility to take things as they come.”
The new fridge was possible because of a $21,300 grant from the Bradley Henry Barnes & Leila Upson Barnes Memorial Trust that was presented by The Main Street Community Founda-tion.
“This is what Bradley Barnes’ family was all about: helping the wellbeing of Southington residents,” said MSCF program officer Kate Kerchaert.
Grant money went to purchasing the fridge, but also helped provide a Saturday lunch, and will soon be providing a Wednesday dinner for their clients. Previously, BFL only served lunches on weekdays.
The Saturday lunches have already begun and have been a great success, serving about 20 clients on a regular basis. The Wednesday dinners will begin in September.
They will also be purchasing an automatic external defibrillator (AED) which can stabilize a person’s heart if they are having heart complications.
To learn more about Bread for Life, visit www.southingtonbreadforlife.org.