Our programming offers help to anyone requiring food aid assistance. It’s not a hand out – it’s a hand up, helping Newfoundland families and individuals move forward in life. Bridges to Hope serves the Northeast Avalon region. Our clients are your neighbours, co-workers, and friends. That’s why at Bridges to Hope our focus is “neighbours feeding neighbours.”
Newfoundland has the highest rate of per capita food bank usage in Canada. In 2016 the Bridges To Hope Food Pantry provided food aid to 9,200 people. Our clients come to us from every sector of society – no one is turned away. Clients access food aid assistance once a month and can receive a full food hamper or an emergency hamper. The full food hamper includes fresh baked bread, homemade soups and stews prepared in our community kitchen, plus other essential food items required to feed a family or an individual for up to five days. Our emergency hamper is prepared, so that is can last 24 to 36 hours.
Currently, our kitchen is used daily to make fresh homemade bread for our clients, and we also make soups, stews, and roasted chicken, depending on availability of ingredients. When Bridges to Hope receives funding or requests from organizations, the kitchen is used as a learning classroom that teaches people how to make cost effective meals, but, it is also an environment that celebrates team building, communication and socialization. Cooking programs are unique to the needs of each client group, such as a slow cooker program for single parents.
Bridges to Hope also supports the community through an education outreach program called “Bag To School”. In 2017, the Bag To School program supplied 600 students in grades K-12 and with quality curriculum based school supplies, all packaged in a book bag and ready for school. Parents and students who wish to register for the program can contact Bridges To Hope in July.
Bridges to Hope is powered by volunteers from a diverse cross section of the Community and Corporate Business sector. The organization has 3 employees; 2 part time and 1 full time. All other functions are undertaken by volunteers. Bridges To Hope is highly respected as an environment that employs innovative initiatives to mobilize volunteers and supports advocates who will become future philanthropic and community minded leaders. Bridges is a first choice placement for Youth Leadership organizations like Canada World Youth and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Program. Bridges To Hope is also highly regarded within the academic community – as an organization where students pursuing careers in social work, medicine and community services – come to do volunteer work or work placement.