SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Imagine going a day without food. Hunger and food insecurity is something many people face every day. For over ten years, a local food ministry has worked to make sure people have food to eat, while also reducing food waste.
It’s a busy morning for Linda Albrecht.
She’s loaded up this van with coolers and boxes, ready to be filled with food from different restaurants.
She’s a driver and volunteer for Bread Break.
“I’ve been driving for Bread Break for about 8 years, I think I’ve been on the Monday morning route for about a year and a half,” driver, volunteer, Linda Albrecht said. “I have 17 stops, I have 14 stops to pick up food, and three drop-offs of food.”
Bread Break is a non-profit food ministry that aims to feed the hungry, support the community, and reduce waste.
“The van goes around on regular routes and we pick up from facilities, restaurants, and food processing places, cafeterias, and then we deliver to other non-profits,” board member, treasurer, Renae Eidenshink said. “By going through other non-profits we are able to distribute to more people.”
The non-profit started back in 2011 and has been growing ever since.
“We started out with one man, one van, and two coolers, and now we’ve got two vans, approximately 20-25 volunteers, we have about 30 providers and 25-30 recipients,” Eidenshink said.
On Albrecht’s list of stops, today is Oh My Cupcakes.
It’s just one of the businesses that partners with Bread Break.
“It’s a very joyful morning because the businesses I stop at say ‘thank you for coming,’ and the places where I drop off food say ‘thank you for coming,’ so I have a very blessed Monday morning,” Albrecht said.
The non-profit also works with Flyboy Donuts.
This group is spending the morning packaging some of the donuts that were donated.
“On Mondays, we divide them here into packages of a dozen, and then we take them to smaller agencies with smaller clients, for example, Ava’s House, Compassion Child Care, then the rest of the week, we pick up their entire leftover and that goes to an entire agency that has a larger group to feed,” volunteer, Carol Dreke said.
Inside each bag, you’ll also find a note.
“The donuts that we take, since we take them to smaller agencies, we have a little bit more of a chance to have a connection with them, the message is regarding our church, we are a mission of Messiah New Hope Lutheran Church, even though we do have a nonprofit status, and that has our service time, Bible verse, that they can share with their clientele and all are welcome,” Dreke said.
The group knows that all the food they collect will be beneficial to people of all ages.
At the St. Francis House, those donations make a significant impact.
“The ability to have this food coming from Bread Break has impacted our budget significantly, if we would have had to be buying this ourselves, especially after going through the pandemic and the shortages of items,” executive director, St, Francis House, Julie Becker said.
Right now the St. Francis House has 111 guests, with the organization providing three meals a day.
“These are all biscuits that are from Red Lobster, so then we will use these, these will get pulled this afternoon, and they’re having a chicken hot dish and they will have these as their side,” Becker said.
Food that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill, is now a meal for those who need it most.
“I’ve taken a couple of other people around every once in a while on the route and they say ‘I just did not know that businesses were so generous and giving this, and I didn’t know something like this existed,’ and I would have never dreamt it up myself but I’m so glad it’s here,” Albrecht said.
As Bread Break gets more providers and recipients, there is a growing need for volunteers. If you’d like to help out, we’ve provided a link to their website here.