Help Bridges to Hope Fight Poverty in Newfoundland and Labrador
Created September 30, 2011 by Jason Sharpe
_ “**Bridges To Hope”**_
**Bridges To Hope** is dedicated to reducing the impact of poverty on individuals and families living in our community by providing direct food and other aid and working towards long term solutions in food security, healthy living practices and educational programs - all of which serve to improve the quality of life for the individuals and families assisted by our organization.
**It is all about providing a hand up and not a hand out to the many individuals who have difficulties and struggle to feed their families**. Our ability to achieve these goals was enhanced by the completion during 2009 and 2010 of a modern, fully equipped Community Kitchen. In association with various community partners this kitchen is now actively engaged in meal preparations under the supervision of a trained chef, with nearly a full complement of clients booked for the remainder of 2011 (and it is planned that this will continue as a Community Kitchen/centre for the area). During the first five months of operation the kitchen has supported 52 families and produced over 3000 meals. These meals have gone directly to the tables of the clients at a cost of 75 cents per meal. This demand has grown over the past 5 years and over 9000 individuals were provided with food assistance in 2010. Bridges to Hope also seeks to implement its longer term plan and to ensure education is the key to assisting the clients achieve a better standard of living and to make their lives more manageable.
_**Passion for Projects**_
The “Passions for Projects” programs’ mandate is to enable clients to help themselves by empowering them to learn new skills, enhance their self-confidence and become more self-sufficient.. This program was started by the vision of a grade twelve student Emily Elliott to assist students with supplies to complete special school projects. Since the inception of this project this program has assisted some 122 schools in the Eastern School District. This special project helps assure equality of educational opportunity and helps break down economic barriers that often hinder the intelectual and social development of children, youth and adults.
Bridges to hope offers full and emergency hampers and these are designed to help the needy on a short term basis. Full Hampers are designed to provide needy recipients with essential items in preparing meals for about 3 days. The emergency hampers will assist recipients through a 24-hour period. In the first year of this project Bridges to Hope provided 2557 full hampers and 625 emergency hampers to needy recipients. In 2010 the demand for these have risen to 4000 full hampers and 1200 emergency hampers.
The challenges and demands for Bridges To Hope will continue as the economy worsens. There will be more families struggling to provide healthy and nutritional meals for their families.
_**Other Community Projects**_
-Bag-to-School Program – Provides school bags and accompanying supplies to K-12 students. In 2010 there were over 550 student assisted.
-Christmas Hampers – This program is run in conjuction with the Rotary Club of St. John’s and is dedicated to providing food to families who need assistance especially in the expensive holiday season.
The projects that are currently ongoing through "Brides to Hope" are very important to the community as they serve thousands of needy recipients. The "Aviva Community Fund" is a funding opportunity that will provide this organization with resources to guarantee its longevity and also to provide additional financial assistance to export these projects to a wider geographical territory.
We encourage you to visited out web page at www.bridgestohope.ca to find out more about our programs and services.