Gift of Bread volunteers are cruising around on new wheels, delivering bread to Sydney’s neediest, after receiving a $35,000 Canterbury donation to purchase a new van.
The new Toyota Hiace van, aptly named ‘Spirit of Hope’, delivers freshly-baked bread every day to charitable organisations, nursing and boarding houses, special schools, churches and outreach programs all over Sydney.
“With the help of dedicated volunteers, we collect fresh bread from many well-known and reputable local bakeries who generously donate their surplus at the end of the day. We slice the loaves, sort the rolls and buns, and pack every item in plastic bags to maintain freshness. We then share this bread with people and organisations in our community where there is a need,” said Marcel De Maria, Founder of Gift of Bread.
Gift of Bread operates in Sydney’s Inner West with five main distribution centres located in Marrickville, Erskineville, Balmain, Earlwood and Lewisham. In addition, the organisation also has nine minor hubs including Belmore, Belfield and Campsie and altogether, will distribute over 170,000 bags of bread in 2016.
“There is a spiritual connection with bread and that which it represents. For many cultures, breaking bread has a significance that transcends mere nutrition. For us the gift of bread is a simple way to reach out in communion and it helps us build a strong community spirit – one that is conscious of the difficulties and hardships in our society,” said Marcel.
“Bread may seem like a simple item but it is a staple in many diets; every culture has some form of bread in their cuisine so not only is it nourishing, it is also unifying in the fact that everyone has a basic right to a standard of living adequate for their health and well-being,” said Dr George Peponis OAM, Chairman of Canterbury.