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 (community kitchen) soups and stews, plus all of the necessary healthy 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.
The Bridges To Hope Community Kitchen is a “learning classroom” that offers individuals a health and wellness cooking experience that is both instructional and empowering. The “learning classroom” teaches people how to cook healthy 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 – it can be as universal as a slow cooker program, or as diverse as Gateway a collaborative cooking program that is a partnership between MUN Med School and the Association for New Canadians (ANC). Year round, the Community Kitchen bakes fresh bread daily, for the Community Food Pantry.
Bridges To Hope also supports the community through an education outreach program called “Bag To School”. In 2016 the Bag To School program supplied 900 students in grades K-12 and Adult Basic Education with quality curriculum based school supplies, science fair and heritage fair display materials and book bags. Parents and students who wish to register for the program can contact Bridges To Hope in August.
Bridges To Hope is powered by volunteers from a diverse cross section of the Community and Corporate Business sector. The organization has 4 employees; 2 part time and 2 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.
Bridges To Hope has a community skills development program. Bridges To Hope received a Community Partner of the Year Award for Partners for Workplace Inclusion. Recent placements have included; Elaine Dobbin Autism Centre, Choices For Youth, Avalon Employment, YMCA, Partnership For Workplace Inclusion, Youth of the Future, Canada World Youth. Memorial University Social Work and Sociology students.