Daily Bread Soup Kitchen was formed in 2009 when the former Catholic Worker House ended its lunch program. We rented space from New Covenant Fellowship on White St. in Champaign and went from serving 30 sack lunches out of the front door, to over 200 hot lunches 5 days per week at New Covenant. On the weekends, we served soup and sandwiches from a van when the church was not available to us.
In the Fall of 2014, we purchased the old Emerald City building at 116 N. First Street in Champaign. We worked with an architect to create the best and most efficient design for the new space. We moved into our new home in December, 2016; we now have a wonderful working kitchen, ample storage space for all the food available from our generous community, increased guest seating and windows that brightens up the room. Best of all, in a new building we can serve a hot meal to our guests seven days a week. To make this renovation happen, we needed to raise over $300,000. We reached our goal and are grateful to all who contributed.
Daily Bread is unique in that it runs entirely on volunteer labor. We pay NO salaries. We have no administrator, no paid fund-raiser, no paid bookkeeper, and no paid secretary. Volunteers do all those jobs. Because of this volunteer labor, we currently are able to do what we do (which is serve 153,000 meals a year to the hungry of Champaign-Urbana) on a budget of approximately $13,000 a month. We are able to serve 200+ guests a hot meal and give them a sack meal for dinner, for $100 a day in food costs. (We have other expenses such as cleaning, garbage, utilities, insurance, etc.) And we raise that money entirely through local donations and a few local grants. Many of you donate to DBSK, and it’s your donations and the donations of many others that keep us going month after month.
Many people think of Champaign-Urbana as a sophisticated and affluent community and are unaware of the number of our neighbors who struggle with issues of food insecurity and hunger. According to the Eastern Illinois Foodbank, the poverty rate for Champaign County is 23.4%, third highest in the state of Illinois. There are many hungry men, women, and children in Champaign-Urbana whom we see every day.
Please join us in our effort to ensure that Daily Bread Soup Kitchen prospers in our new, permanent home.