Bread & Roses
Served every Thursday evening (except holidays)
4:30pm to 6:00pm
This week, October 18, we are having: Chicken & Potatoes
Bread and Roses is a weekly prepared meal using donations and volunteers. We strive to serve this meal to build relationships with all who are hungry. We draw rationale from Jesus’ words in Matthew 25: “For I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me…as you did it to the least of my brethren, you did it to me”.
We serve a wide range of people from elderly, to singles, to young families. It is a meal of fellowship for the community. The joy of Bread and Roses is that all are welcome. There is no sign-up or sign-in sheet. There is never a request for a donation. Visitors may park in the 9th Street parking lot or, for handicap accessibility, on 10th Street to use a ramp. Either entrance has an elevator or stairs to go downstairs to the Fellowship Hall. Find an empty chair at a table and enjoy the delicious home cooked meal.
The original Bread and Roses program was started in 1986 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Then pastor, Rev. Fred Himmerich was one of the founders. After Rev. Himmerich’s retirement the dinners were discontinued. The Immanuel Social Concerns Committee recognized the urgent need in the community to restart this program. After researching this project for one year with the The Clergy Round Table and other agencies it was decided to ask the Immanuel Church Council to undertake this project in the Fellowship Hall. A mass mailing to local businesses, churches and community organizations resulted in a very positive response. Subsequently, in January 1999 Judy Hoffstetter and Jean Kwapil served their first meal to 29 people. In May 2015 Judy and Jean served their last meal at Bread and Roses. Subsequent to that, Bread and Roses Inc. was formed with a board comprised of members of Immanuel Lutheran, Watertown, River Valley Alliance, and United Methodist churches. They were blessed to find another volunteer, Dave Gilbert, to take over preparing the meals.
There is no paid staff. Our community provides monetary donations and volunteers. Most of the meat is purchased by funds that have been donated. We currently have 28 different groups from various churches, businesses, and fraternal organizations that rotate to help prepare, serve and clean up. Desserts, salads and milk are just some items that each group provides each week. If you have never helped at Bread and Roses, please consider volunteering. It is a very rewarding experience and a service that we can all be proud of.