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2021 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Bread & Roses

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Coronavirus Relief Food Banks, Food, Meals on Wheels

Mission: Bread & Roses has achieved four decades of fighting hunger with effective, grassroots programs and the active fostering of an extensive supportive network. In addition to stable food access, Bread & Roses provides life, health and safety supports - such as toiletries and clothing, infant supplies, medical care and case management. 80% of those we serve are minorities - many are recent immigrants. 70% are either homeless or at-risk of homelessness. We serve the poorest and neediest members of the community - suffering from chronic disease, trauma, mental illness and abuse. The choice between food, shelter, heat and medications is faced on a daily basis. All have one thing in common: no one and no place to turn to for help. The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted Lawrence. Those already living on the edge face increased food insecurity - exacerbated by social isolation. As agencies struggle to provide services, disruption to daily life continues to impact the most vulnerable.

Results: Our Outreach Coordinator daily traverses Lawrence in our two outreach vans to deliver bulk food and meals to churches and agencies serving the most vulnerable. Through outreach, Bread & Roses is providing access to critical support for those who need it most - without ID requirements or long lines - delivering nearly 500,000 pounds of food since the pandemic struck in March 2020. In 2020, we made more than 180,000 meals possible. An estimated 18,000 individuals and families received hot meals, pantry orders, outreach meals, medical services, clothing and essential items. As food insecurity skyrockets in Lawrence as a result of COVID 19, we anticipate expanding our services by a minimum of 30% in 2021 as we strive to assist as many individuals and families as possible.

Target demographics: The working poor, the homeless, low-income families, seniors, veterans, immigrants, the disabled, those struggling with addiction - anyone who faces food insecurity, regardless of residential, income or legal status.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 13,800 households through evening meals, pantry services, health services and community outreach.

Geographic areas served: Lawrence, MA, where 1 in 4 live below the poverty line.

Programs: Evening meals, pantry and health services, essential life supports, case management, and community food outreach with 40+ local agencies and churches.

Community Stories

34 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first learned about Bread & Roses when I helped make the dinner that my school did twice a month. Later i brought student volunteers to help serve the meals. From the first I was hooked. Great group of staff and volunteers who all exhibited the motto of our school, Non Sibi--Not for oneself. The clients became friends. After I retired I continue volunteering. I was particularly impressed with how B&R handled the Covid pandemic. They remained focused on serving the community not just with meals but in numerous other assistance including clothes and medical assistance. Bread & Roses is a fantastic place.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I went to Bread & Roses after the gas explosions in 2018 to help sort the donations of clothing, toiletries, and household goods they had collected on behalf of the community. Because the staff and volunteers were so welcoming and there was so much to be done, I decided immediately to volunteer two days a week. Getting to know and help the people who turn to Bread & Roses for food, health, and other daily needs was incredibly rewarding. It has been deeply satisfying to support Bread & Roses and to know they will continue their 40+ year tradition of providing care and comfort for those most in need.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having been involved with Bread and Roses for over 40 years, as an evening meal coordinator and Board of Directors member, I have seen an evolution and expansion of our role to serve the neediest in our community with respect, dedication and perseverance. The gas disaster led us to diversify our services with outreach to many local organizations and the COVID pandemic extended this outreach even further. The commitment to the Mission is the thread that allows us to be flexible and agile in adjusting our services to address the areas of greatest need, with our generous supporters and dedicated staff and volunteers as the backbone that supports our efforts. Kathleen FitzPatrick

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer for 7 years and a member of the board for 3. When I began volunteering I was recently retired and looking for ways to give back to the community. Truthfully, I was a little lost as well. I left my career in sales management and I missed being on a team and the human connections. I've always thought that in a country like ours, no one should go hungry regardless of their personal circumstances. I considered that it was a basic right and one that should be easily achieved based on the excessive amounts of food we see in our daily lives, but I also knew it wasn't. So, I thought it would be good to try and volunteer for a soup kitchen so I could help feed the hungry and be on a team again. A win - win. I simply Googled soup kitchens near me and Bread & Roses came up on the search. I met with the volunteer coordinator at Bread & Roses, got a tour of the building, a better sense of who they were and what they were about. I felt so comfortable there, the people were very caring and the general mood inside the building was genuine warmth. So, I started volunteering 2-3 days per week doing meal prep. I loved working with the other volunteers, staff and management. Having that experience and knowing I was doing something to put warm food on a plate for someone who needs a break and a warm building for them to sit in on a cold day is an amazing feeling. Bread & Roses feeds those in need with dignity and respect, but they also create a welcoming community regardless if you are a guest or volunteer. I've met some really great people over the years and its enriched my life....not to mention Sarah taught me how to make a killer soup out of anything! Every time I walk into Bread & Roses, it just feels special.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first learned about Bread & Roses when I helped make the dinner that my school did twice a month. Later i brought student volunteers to help serve the meals. From the first I was hooked. Great group of staff and volunteers who all exhibited the motto of our school, Non Sibi--Not for oneself. The clients became friends. After I retired I continue volunteering. I was particularly impressed with how B&R handled the Covid pandemic. They remained focused on serving the community not just with meals but in numerous other assistance including clothes and medical assistance. Bread & Roses is a fantastic place.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bread & Roses has fed many, many folks over the years--young families, old folks, homeless, down-on-their-luck. No questions asked. It is a joy and a privilege to work at Bread & Roses. A great job by a great organization.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Bread and Roses for over 15 years. I started off making meals as a volunteer on a Thursday taking with me my kindergarten children. As my family grew up, we then took part in Day of Service events - cleaning the kitchen and dining room as well as sorting donated food. I am now the volunteer coordinator for Bread and Roses for my church connecting a new generation of volunteers to this organization.

I love Bread and Roses! I love the commitment of all the staff and volunteers. I love the dignity that is shown to all guests no matter their circumstances. And I love that in spite of the pandemic, Bread and Roses found an alternative way to provide food to those who needed it.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for bread & Roses and was truly impressed at their Mission. They take amazing Care of the people in need in the city of Lawrence.

1 Michele L.11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at their cruise and have fell in love with their mission. They are an intricate part of the Lawrence community. Bread and Roses give dignity and respect to the people they serve. I plan on volunteering and donating more in the near future. The employees love their jobs and the mission and you can tell by how hard they work

1 Stephen S.5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

An essential non-profit with a beautiful mission. Bread & Roses has done amazing work for a long time, but it's even more important with how challenging 2020 was, and the lingering effects we're still feeling.

The team at Bread & Roses is kind, compassionate, professional, and genuinely cares about the work they do and their community.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bread and Roses is not just a "soup kitchen". They "provide hot meals, pantry support, medical services, case management and community food outreach to all who are in need ".

Bread and Roses works hard at fundraising and they make effective use of the private donations they receive.

I first started volunteering at Bread and Roses after being introduced to the organization by a friend. And I am glad I am involved. The volunteers are dedicated, have been volunteering for years and volunteer on a consistent basis.
My husband is now volunteering with me.







1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Bread and roses is such a welcoming place ... They feed your body and help your soul.. Everyone is accepted and it feels like home to many ... I walked in several years ago as a young adult as my family struggled to keep food on the table.. I always wanted to help at the end of the night as thanks to give back I walked out years later as a changed person as I moved away.... I became a volunteer there for a few years before I moved away ....

1 Ronan F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bread and Roses entails a group of people who embody the idea of others first. They want to help everyone around them as much as possible, and with that better everyone’s lives, the people they support, the staff and the people who volunteer in all shapes and forms. Keep up the great work Bread and Roses

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We are a recovery through work and community clubhouse in Lawrence and have been blessed with weekly food donation deliveries, warm clothing, blankets, and the friendship and support of the Bread & Roses Crew! We have 120 members and each one has benefitted from the generosity of Bread & Roses. Their dedication and love are the reason for so many smiles. Thank you.
Friends at Point After Club

Volunteer

Rating: 5

These people are what really makes everyone that volunteers there an amazing place!! Everyone I have talked with has a great attitude and just wants the world to be a better place to live. They give from their hearts and that is what we need more of

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Bread & Roses was an essential lifeline for the people of the Merrimack Valley affected by the natural gas explosions last year. Occurring a few weeks before Thanksgiving, many families benefited from their support, which they were able to mobilize so effectively due to their longstanding service in the community.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a very long time volunteer I can assure all that Bread and Roses has made a great
impact on the lives of many. It can be as simple as a smile or knowing someone’s name and being served a nutritious meal in a clean warm environment. Above that BR helps people with pantry items , basic clothing needs, and personal items. The good work has extended to community outreach sharing our resources with many groups. Being a volunteer has had a great impact on my life. I have met many amazing people guests , staff and volunteers. I have laughed and cried with them. It so rewarding to know that there are amazing people around to care and provide for others. Bread and Roses is a great example of kindness.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I'm part of a Drop-In Center for Young Adults with mental health challenges in Lawrence. Bread Roses makes a weekly donation of food to us. We really appreciate that gift. We use it to prepare and teach meal preparation options with our young adults, they get to eat something when they come in for a visit, and they can also take food home with them. All of these options are very important for them. We SO appreciate the partnership with Bread & Roses!
YouForward

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Such a great place and people! The kitchen equipment is professional level and the staff is so sweet and genuine. They do amazing work and Lawrence wouldn't be the same without them!

2 Paul C.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A staff of truly dedicated and helpful individuals who really care about people less fortunate than themselves.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great program in the city of Lawrence, it's free for all kids during the summer time. Great writing program and awesome partnership with the Lawrence history center to teach kids about Lawrence.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering at Bread and Roses where giving people come together to support others and receive support. The camaraderie amongst the guests, and between the guests and volunteers, always makes me smile. It is a warm and giving place. I'm thrilled to learn about the outreach to local college students, too.

2 Amy X.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Bread and Roses supplies lunch to over 40 kids for a summer program held at Izizwe Dance Studio in Lawrence. They really went above and beyond. They were consistent, reliable, kind, and helpful and never once asked for anything in return. Bread and Roses deserves as much praise and recognition as possible!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

love your work great work done by your compaign ....nice blog
Regards:

Organizations to Donate to

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Every year they put together a drive for coats, blankets, and basic toiletries. Our office collects as much as possible for Bread and Roses. It is great community service they are providing and it makes everyone feel good to be able to help those who are less fortunate.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bread and Roses feeds the body and also the soul! Guests are welcomed in a friendly atmosphere and assisted in so many different ways, social services, medical clinic, clothing, food to take home, etc. Five star review!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Bread & Roses for many years. They always have a well balanced hot meal and never run out of food. Everyone is welcome. You don't have to be homeless, many poor, elderly or simply lonely people come in to sit with others and have a conversation. Bread & Roses welcomes everyone and also helps those in need of housing, clean clothes and medical treatment from the Doctor who volunteers there every Wednesday. It's a huge part of the community. Many who leave at the end of the night are so grateful that someone cares about them and they thank us profusely.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with Bread & Roses about 5 years ago. I was so impressed with the warm atmosphere and the meal they served my first night was awesome, baked chicken, smashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, a roll, and cranberry sauce. I've got to know many of the guests and their stories through the years, and it's one of the things that keeps me coming back. Bread & Roses is a special place on many levels.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

i volunteered there once and it was just so amazing seeing all the smiles on people’s faces.

3 Denise O.2

Board Member

Rating: 5

For more than 30 years, Bread & Roses has assisted thousands of people in need in
the Merrimack Valley area. They provide meals five evenings a week for people at risk of hunger. I have witnessed the help they provide our community and I am happy to be part of such wonderful organization.
Visit Bread and Roses pantry to help out with donations, volunteer your time or food donations to this amazing organization with a giving heart.
Breadandroseslawrence.org

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After the recent gas explosions in Massachusetts, this nonprofit met he increased demand of providing warm meals to those in need with grace and kindness. They genuinely care for the people in their community and serve with smiles!

3 Victoria S.4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been a person who has been a client,a volunteer,and a staff member they are a wonderful organization everything that comes thru their doors are given away to people in need of their services

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Twice a year the nurses food shop, prepare, serve and clean up. All of the nurse s and their families that volunteer are humbled by the experience. The guest we serve are so grateful for a warm meal and very friendly service. Bread and Roses is truly a special place.

2 Susan McGibbon S.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Bread and Roses has effectively responded to the needs of their community for 37+ years by providing hot, nutritious meals, and an array of critical life, health, and safety supports, all without cost, wait, or question, with dignity and respect, to anyone who requests them: They are well respected in the community because of their willingness to work with other agencies who provide services to the under-served populations so that services can overlap and prevent a gap in available resources. Bread and Roses has only three full time Administrative staff, their work force consists of hundreds of volunteers who supply about 1500 volunteer hours a month to sustain the mission. Truly a labor of love from within the heart of Lawrence, Bread and Roses has creatively shaped it's services to extend far into the community, and as a result, offering food to those who cannot / do not come to their 58 Newbury Street location.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

Bread and Roses has served the Lawrence community since 1980, with very low overhead and staff costs, by relying on our very generous supporters in the community who provide food donations, financial support and volunteer hours. The dignity of every guest is respected and celebrated in a family atmosphere without judgement, while also connecting guests to other services they may be seeking through our strong relationships with other community non profits.