Bridge Bread Values – Charity

It has often been said “Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Bridge Bread Bakery very much values education and specifically values education and training that leads to meaningful work. We are thankful for those in our community who provide opportunities for disadvantaged people to learn how to support themselves.

But when I hear that statement, I have to ask:

  • Where does he get the fishing pole?
  • How does he get to the lake?
  • What if he doesn’t have a boat?

Training without a viable opportunity is incomplete. Bridge Bread Bakery was formed to provide the equivalent of the pole, the lake, and the boat. Our bakers earn their wages with hard work. We make enough money from selling the baked goods they make to pay all their wages and benefits, the cost of ingredients and packaging, and often a bit more. But we don’t make enough to pay the mortgage, utilities, insurance, administrative staff, or other expenses. That’s where charity comes in.

As a social enterprise, Bridge Bread Bakery is both a bakery business and a charity organization. We are a Missouri non-profit organization with Federal 501(c)(3) status, and we accept donations to fund the bakery. We provide the bakery as a work opportunity to our Bakers, all of whom where unhoused when hired. We do not receive any funding from government agencies. We depend on voluntary donations from individuals and organizations that share our passion for helping people earn their way out of homelessness.

In addition to earned wages, which start at $13/hour after a very short probationary period, we provide a substantial housing incentive program that:

  • Pays rental application fees
  • Assists in locating appropriate housing
  • Provides rental deposit up to $600
  • Provides first month’s rent up to $600
  • Limits the Baker’s rental obligation to $250 per month for the first six months (up to $350/month)
  • Provides $200/month ongoing rental subsidy for as long as the Baker is employed at Bridge Bread Bakery and produces a paid rent receipt.

We also provide a weekly bonus of $30-$50 for consistent on-time attendance.

All in all, Bridge Bread Bakery depends on your donations to provide an environment for our Bakers to thrive.