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Hunger Fund Grant for Breakfast Program Outreach Ministry

Updated on October 12, 2017
janshares profile image

Janis is heavily involved in community service which includes running a bi-weekly breakfast program for the homeless and families in need.

Breakfast Feeds the Body and the Soul

Hot pancakes are served at the Kwanzaa Kitchen Breakfast Program along with scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, grits, juice, and coffee.
Hot pancakes are served at the Kwanzaa Kitchen Breakfast Program along with scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, grits, juice, and coffee. | Source

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Feeding Breakfast to the Hungry Begins Very Early

It's 6:30am on a Saturday morning as the volunteers arrive sleepy-eyed to begin cracking eggs and mixing pancake batter at Saint George's Episcopal Church in Washington, DC.

Early arrival is imperative in order to get enough hot food in the hopper to start serving about 50 dine-in meals by 9:00am.

Patrons are also able to receive carryout packages for either themselves or for house-bound family and friends, in addition to dine-in plates.

The fast pace of the kitchen is maintained by the rhythm of gospel music and spirited conversations about current events. This outreach ministry, The Kwanzaa Kitchen Breakfast Program, is lovingly carried out every other Saturday throughout the year by a group of very dedicated volunteers.

It is one of several feeding programs in the Washington metropolitan area that is funded by the Episcopal Diocese of Washington (EDOW) Hunger Fund.

Hebrews 13:2 (ESV)

"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."

Feeding Programs Provide Nutritious Meals to the Needy

Some patrons have been attending for years to enjoy a nutritious meal all year 'round.
Some patrons have been attending for years to enjoy a nutritious meal all year 'round. | Source

The Kwanzaa Kitchen Breakfast Program

The Kwanzaa Kitchen, located in Washington, DC, began as a small breakfast program to serve homeless men and needy families. It was patterned after the Black Panthers Breakfast Program for Hungry Children in Los Angeles, CA and Chicago, IL.

The first breakfast, held on November 11, 1992 at Saint George's, fed about twenty patrons, served by four volunteers.

Over the years, the numbers grew as the dire need for a hot, nutritious morning meal became more apparent in the community.

Today, the breakfast program has surpassed 20 years of service to the hungry, averaging about 200 meals served per breakfast.

The menu includes scrambled eggs with cheese, turkey bacon, pancakes, seasonal grits or cereal, coffee, and juice. We also serve fresh fruit for special occasions and holidays.

Isaiah 58:10 (ESV)

"If you pour yourself out for the hungry, and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday."

Patrons begin to trickle in around 8-8:30 am, coming in from their homes, halfway houses, and shelters. Seated in the dining area, they read, fellowship, and listen to music as they wait patiently for breakfast to be served. On occasion, patrons will ask to help and will gladly assist with table setting.

At about 8:50 am, the program coordinator leaves the pancake grill for the dining area to read a scripture for meditation, followed by a prayer and blessing of the food.

Before plating the food, another prayer is offered in the kitchen to bless the volunteers.

Each patron is served at tables, set with place mats, utensils, and condiments.

After all dine-ins are served, volunteers begin to bag and disseminate carryout meals by ticket numbers, until all patrons are served.

Left over carryout packages are taken to an area shelter.

Food Preparation I - Scrambled Eggs and Turkey Bacon

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Fluffy scrambled eggs are prepared from scratch with cheese.A large pot of eggs wait for milk and the electric mixer.Eggs are beaten thoroughly before scrambling.Turkey bacon is laid on the pan for baking.
Fluffy scrambled eggs are prepared from scratch with cheese.
Fluffy scrambled eggs are prepared from scratch with cheese. | Source
A large pot of eggs wait for milk and the electric mixer.
A large pot of eggs wait for milk and the electric mixer. | Source
Eggs are beaten thoroughly before scrambling.
Eggs are beaten thoroughly before scrambling. | Source
Turkey bacon is laid on the pan for baking.
Turkey bacon is laid on the pan for baking. | Source

Food Preparation II - Pancakes

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cinnamon is added to pancake batter.Hot pancakes are ready to be taken off the grill.Pancake batter is poured on a hot grill.Stacks of pancakes are kept in a warm hopper.
Cinnamon is added to pancake batter.
Cinnamon is added to pancake batter. | Source
Hot pancakes are ready to be taken off the grill.
Hot pancakes are ready to be taken off the grill. | Source
Pancake batter is poured on a hot grill.
Pancake batter is poured on a hot grill. | Source
Stacks of pancakes are kept in a warm hopper.
Stacks of pancakes are kept in a warm hopper. | Source

Breakfast Up and Ready To Serve

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Hot food is ready to be served from the hopper.Hot and creamy grits are served during the cold winter months.Plated breakfast plates are served restaurant-style to the patrons.
Hot food is ready to be served from the hopper.
Hot food is ready to be served from the hopper. | Source
Hot and creamy grits are served during the cold winter months.
Hot and creamy grits are served during the cold winter months. | Source
Plated breakfast plates are served restaurant-style to the patrons.
Plated breakfast plates are served restaurant-style to the patrons. | Source

Volunteer Assembly Line for Carryout Meals

Volunteers take their positions and fill carryout trays.
Volunteers take their positions and fill carryout trays. | Source
Program coordinator flips pancakes.
Program coordinator flips pancakes. | Source
Condiment cups are filled for the carryouts.
Condiment cups are filled for the carryouts. | Source

Kwanzaa Kitchen Volunteers and Tasks

It takes about six core volunteers to carry out the breakfast ministry on a typical Saturday. The main tasks include food preparation, cooking, table and condiment set-ups, plating, serving, dissemination of carryouts, and clean-up.

Shopping for the breakfast items the night before is also a task that is alternated between core volunteers. Food preparation and ministry tasks includes:

  • Cracking and beating 45 dozen eggs
  • Laying and baking 20 packages of turkey bacon
  • Mixing 30 pounds of pancake mix (with cinnamon)
  • Cooking about 5 pounds of grits
  • Filling approximately 400 to 500 cups with margarine and syrup for the carryouts
  • Maintaining receipts of expenses, documentation of patron attendance, and meals served for quarterly financial reports and annual application to the Hunger Fund Grant

Another 6 to 8 volunteers are needed to set tables with condiments, refresh coffee, and monitor sign-in and carryout order sheets. Some volunteers plate the food while others serve patrons at their tables. They also serve juice at each table.

Volunteers are comprised of church members, community members, fraternities, sororities, and high school students who need hours for community service.

Grant Funds Feed Returning Patrons

The patrons are made up of familiar faces of those who come regularly.
The patrons are made up of familiar faces of those who come regularly. | Source

Our Patrons Enjoy the Fellowship

Patrons enjoy the atmosphere and the fellowship
Patrons enjoy the atmosphere and the fellowship | Source

Breakfast Program Patron Testimonials

Patrons were asked why they like our breakfast program, what they get out of it, and what keeps them coming back:

  • "On cold days like this, it gives us a chance to come in out of the cold and get a good meal. You have the best breakfast in the city, by far, top of the line. You feel the love in here; people know that they [volunteers] care."
  • "I been homeless for years, the food is good, gets me out of a rut, samething everyday, back and forth; it's a nice place to come and eat and fellowship."
  • "The spiritual atmoshphere, you all show that you care. People come here with a lot on their minds and get a feeling of peace. It's not just for the food; it's to get peace of mind."


How The Hunger Fund Grant Works

Every year, the Kwanzaa Kitchen applies for a grant to run the breakfast program. The Hunger Fund Committee meets every other month to review grant applications and make decisions to award funds to various types of feeding programs in the Washington area.

Some provide breakfast, some serve dinner, and others dole out bags of groceries or emergency food packages to the needy. Once the application is made, the program is notified within a week or two that they have been approved to receive a grant in the amount requested.

The grant fund is not a line-item in the Diocesan budget and is soley dependent on donations from congregations within the Episcopal Diocese, as well as other generous donors in the community.

The Kwanzaa Kitchen participates in the monthly collection of donations called "Hunger Fund Sunday" where each family is asked to drop one dollar into a special plate on third Sundays. These funds are sent to the Diocese from Episcopal churches in the area to maintain the fund throughout the year.

It is stipulated that all grants are to be used for food items and paper supplies only and is not to be applied toward any adminstrative costs. Each recipient program must submit a detailed accounting of how the funds were spent before application for another grant is accepted.

The Hunger Fund Grant

  • The purpose of the Hunger Fund is to provide grants to churches, non-profits, and community organizations that feed those challenged with hunger and malnutrition within the geographic boundaries of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.
  • It is a vehicle by which Christians can do their part toward alleviating hunger in their communities. There are 18 feeding programs in the Washington area that continue, year after year, to give volunteers an opportunity to make a difference.
  • A total of $78,514 have been granted to these programs since 2009 ranging from $750 to $5000. The Kwanzaa Kitchen receives a grant in the amount of $3,500.

For more information, visit Diocesan Hunger Fund at the Episcopal Diocese of Washington website.

How Do You Rate The Kwanzaa Kitchen as a Recipient of the Hunger Fund Grant?

5 out of 5 stars from 2 ratings of Kwanzaa Kitchen Breakfast Program

Kwanzaa Kitchen is at Saint George's Episcopal Church

A marker160 U Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 -
160 U Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20001, USA
get directions

H.O.W. To Make A Difference

Humanity One World (H.O.W.) is a movement initiated by a Hubpages writer named Bill Holland, aka billybuc.

Bill challenges all of us writers, individually and collectively, to do something to make a difference in our world of despair, violence, hunger, and disillusionment, by spreading love through action.

This article and ministry is my contribution to the movement. For more information, visit Humanity One World.

© 2012 Janis Leslie Evans

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    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you for reading it, DDE. It is a ministry and fellowship of volunteers and patrons that we love.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Awesome idea the How To Prepare and Serve Breakfast for the Needy with Grant Funding / Kwanzaa Kitchen Program, you have written such a thoughtful hub

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thanks, Writer Fox. It is a labor of love. We actually have a great time doing it. The fellowship among volunteers is a major part of the ministry. Glad you liked it, thanks for stopping by.

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 4 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      This looks like a wonderful project and I applaud you for donating your time and efforts there. You touch a great number of people.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Please come back soon, Renee, we'd love to have you. Thanks for stopping by and commenting from first-hand experience with the program.

    • ReneeDC1979 profile image

      Renee' D. Campbell 4 years ago from Gaithersburg, Maryland

      Great hub! The Kwanzaa Kitchen has been one of my favorite parts of St. G's -hope to get some free time soon to come help again - it was great when I first started helping a looooong time ago -feels good to give back!

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you so much, DPL. I appreciate your comment.

    • profile image

      DLP St. Georgian 4 years ago

      Great article Janis. I know that you put much effort and time in this project. With God's help, all things are possible.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you for that, expertscolumn. I'm so happy you enjoyed this hub. We love serving at the breakfast program. It's a labor of agape love. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

    • expertscolumn profile image

      Stanley Soman 4 years ago from New York

      Wonderful, just wonderful, God bless those who help knowing its their time and energy being spent for a stranger. They'll certainly get their reward in this lifetime or in the one to come

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you kindly, lovedoctor926, for stopping by. I appreciate you commenting, voting up and sharing!

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Awesome idea and one of the best that I've read so far. I found this hub very interesting and useful. voting up & sharing.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thanks, Matt, you're welcome. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this.I wish you the best in this worth while project.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Hi Curiad, thanks for stopping by. You can email me for more detailed information. I'm the outreach co-chair and program coordinator for StG's. Also, if you go to the Hunger Fund site you will find a list of the feeding programs including Kwanzaa Kitchen. Click on the link for more info. Thank you so much for commenting.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Hi billybuc, yes, I'm very involved as the program coordinator and the pancake maker :-) I didn't want to toot my horn too loudly. That's me at the grill cooking pancakes. There's so much more to share about this ministry but I didn't want to violate the rules with too many pics and links. I will do another one to talk more about the volunteers and my role. Thanks for stopping by and for the H.O.W. inspiration. Glad to have included you in this hub.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      This is awesome, It is a great project and something that could be done in any city I am sure. Is there a contact number for anyone interested in setting up a similar program to get information?

      Great job writing this, Mark

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wonderful Jan, and I'm happy I'm the first to comment. I didn't see in the article, but are you a part of this? I assume that you are since those are your pictures. Anyway, bravo my friend. Thank you for writing a H.O.W. hub and thank you for caring so much for your fellow human beings.