By Charles Petty
A local nonprofit dedicated to feeding the hungry celebrated an important milestone Monday – one million served.
The BreadBasket of Sanford, founded in September 1990 in the parish hall of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, served its millionth meal on Monday as a crowd of about 40 people came out mark the occasion – and to thank the many volunteers and donors who have made it possible over the last 30-plus years.
“I’ve been serving for over 13 years and have greatly enjoyed working with this great organization to aid and help those who are hungry find a good meal to eat,“ said Bill Jones, the organization’s current president.
The BreadBasket moved to its current location on Chisholm Street in 2002, where it has been serving anyone needing a warm meal – for any reason – ever since. In 1991, the first full year of operation, more than 8,000 meals were served. Now, it’s more than 50,000 per year.
Present at Monday’s event were several local government leaders, including Sanford Mayor Chet Mann, who presented a “key to the city” to BreadBasket Manager Susan Rosenthal, and Sanford City Councilman Sam Gaskins. Local businesses such as Carter Bank and Trust, which gave out information on its Care Forward program, as well as 200 face shields and a donation to the BreadBasket of more than $400, were also on hand.
Normal hours for the BreadBasket are 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the dining room is currently closed, but meals remain available on a takeout basis. Volunteers – aside from one paid position, the BreadBasket relies entirely on volunteers – also come forward for special holiday meals at Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and Easter. All food supplies come through donations from local grocery stores, restaurants, businesses, industries, individuals, and the Food Bank of Raleigh.
Another group present Monday was the Western Harnett Lions Club, which helps out at the BreadBasket once a month.
“I love helping people,” said Sherry Powell, one of the members. “Though it’s sad we don’t serve anyone inside due to COVID restrictions, I enjoy making sure people are taken care of.”
The BreadBasket is always in need of donations and volunteers. For more information, visit breadbasketofsanford.org.