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Blog Post - April 11, 2017

Non-Profit Spotlight:
Daily Bread Soup Kitchen, Champaign

Daily Bread LogoIn August of 2009, volunteers formed the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen, a nondenominational community organization committed to feeding the hungry in Champaign County. Our mission st​atement is “to feed the hungry of our community regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity. We welcome all volunteers to this service who share an unconditional positive regard for every human being.”

We rented space from New Covenant Fellowship Church, whose members allowed us to distribute cold lunches to guests who lined up at the corner of White and Randolph in Champaign. We grew from handing out 30 sack lunches per day to over 100.

A year later, through the generous support of many donors in the community, we were able to upgrade the New Covenant kitchen to a public health certified one, equipped with new refrigerator and walk-in-freezer that allowed us to accept and store food. That winter we were serving a hot, nutritional meal to over a 100 daily guests.

Daily Bread KitchenWe only had access to New Covenant facility during the weekdays, and we wanted to provide food for our guests on the weekends. A used van was donated to use on the weekends to distribute sack lunches and hot soup. Community and students volunteers from the University of Illinois staffed the van on Saturday and Sunday, where over 350 lunches were distributed.

Since the number of guests we serve continued to grow to over 200 daily, it became apparent that we needed more space. In 2014 we purchased the former Emerald City Lounge at 116 N. First St., in Champaign. In the fall of 2015 we initiated a fundraising drive and over $300,000 was donated. Renovations to the facility were completed and we moved into our new place in December, 2016. We are now able to serve seven days per week in a comfortable, sunny environment!

The Eastern Illinois Foodbank, Gordon Food Services (GFS), local restaurants such as Panera's, Urbana Garden, and the University of Illinois food service, all donate food to our organization. Every weekday volunteers go to the Foodbank, GFS and the University of Illinois to collect food. We participate with the U of I in the Zero Percent Project where leftover, cooked food is given to our organization. We could not exist without the coordinated effort of these groups and others who continue to assist in the daily acquisition of food for the 153,000 meals we serve yearly.

Sandwich MakersWe receive funds from the United Way of Champaign County to help our guests obtain state IDs, birth certificates and bus passes. Other community groups such as the Champaign Rotary, Iroquois Federal Bank, Ameren of Illinois and others have provided us with grants that are mission focused.

We are exclusively volunteer run. We have NO paid staff. We are unique in that aspect and are grateful that all donations go toward food and operating expenses, with no salaries paid. We have over 150 volunteers from all walks of life, aged 14-90+. With our board of directors numbering 19, we set policy and oversee the the operation of DBSK. Our daily crew chiefs and their volunteers work daily to prepare and serve meals and clean up afterwards.

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