By Anna Marguleas

Special to the Daily Press

 

St. Joseph Center’s Bread & Roses Café has proven to be an essential player in the fight against food insecurity on the Westside. The Café provides homeless men and women with healthy and accessible meals in a genuine restaurant environment. Open on weekdays until 1:00 pm, this program relies on the selfless work of volunteers to help with setting tables, making preparations for the meal, and welcoming and waiting on visitors.

Bread & Roses Café provides over 25,000 hot meals to homeless individuals in the Westside area each year. This is in part made possible by Westside Food Bank, which distributes a critical portion of the food that the Café uses to serve its homeless guests. Because Bread & Roses Café receives little government funding to keep up with its everyday functionality, food from Westside Food Bank is vital as they strive to work within their budget. The fresh meat, dairy, and produce that Westside Food Bank provides to this program enables Chef James Cunningham to make healthy meals for homeless guests who otherwise would not have access to free, nutritious food. Cunningham joined Bread & Roses Café last April and quickly put his stamp on the menu with healthy, hearty meals made from scratch. Chef James says, “We care so much about our clients, and the food provided by the Westside Food Bank each week allows us to be creative and abundant with our meals. I love coming up with diverse menus that change with the seasons. Working with the Food Bank allows me to give the clients a special meal every day.”

Each week, an intern from the Jesuit Volunteer Corps picks up food as the WSFB warehouse so that the staff at Bread & Roses can plan their menu based on the items they receive. While menu options will vary based on food availability, the same crucial goal is maintained by both Westside Food Bank and Bread & Roses Café: to provide healthy meals to homeless men and women based on the Westside of Los Angeles County. Human beings that are too often neglected by society are given respect, security, and the comfort of being truly seen as more than their homelessness because of the work of these organizations and the volunteers that devote their time to making a positive impact on others.

 

Visit stjosephctr.org and wsfb.org for more information

 

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