KINGMAN - A problem in a non-profit's bread supply chain may disrupt some local organizations' work in distributing food to the homeless and needy.
Our Daily Bread, a sandwich ministry run through St. Mary Catholic Church, has grown steadily since 2013. The group started out by making 200 sandwiches a week for those in need. They now make anywhere from 600-1,200 sandwiches a week, ranging from egg salad and turkey to peanut butter and jelly.
"The demand has increased. People don't realize it, but there's a lot of homeless and less fortunate in our community," said Jerry Carreiro, a volunteer at Our Daily Bread.
"We thought that, if the demand was needed, we needed to bump up production."
That demand is high in the community. The group currently distributes sandwiches to the Salvation Army, Cornerstone Mission, St. Vincent de Paul, Golden Valley Food Bank, Christian Distribution Center, and the FIT program at Kingman High School.
"They make the sandwiches, and we make sack lunches for walk-ins," said Melanie Windecker, administrator at Cornerstone Mission. Her group donates around 1,200 sack lunches to the homeless each month with the sandwiches from Our Daily Bread.
"Without them, there would be no lunch," she added.
The group used to rely on donations from Sliced Bread Inc., a supplier to the area grocery stores, for their loaves of bread. They would donate day-old bread to the ministry every week. The company just recently notified Carreiro that they will be moving their warehouse to Lake Havasu City, and that they won't be able to supply bread to the ministry anymore.
The ministry goes through 100 loaves of bread a week. So far, Carreiro has talked to local grocery stores and food banks, but their supplies can't meet the needs of the ministry.
"We gave them about 20 loaves of bread," said Kim Turner, office assistant at Kingman Food Bank, which gets its bread donated through local grocery stores.
"There's no way we could meet their needs because we don't get a whole lot in. We try to give every person who comes through here a loaf of bread," said Turner.
The ministry is looking at other solutions. If community groups or individuals are looking to help, they can contact Jerry Carreiro at (928) 279-6382.
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