Since a cold Sunday morning in 1878, the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission has sought to help the poor and disadvantaged of Philadelphia. The mission has since expanded far beyond its original goal of feeding people a hearty Sunday breakfast while bringing them under Christian influence. An interdenominational Christian organization, the mission provides a safe place to stay, three meals a day, and GED and job training to help their guests integrate back into the community.
Chaplain Johnson told me that program guests are involved in many capacities at the mission, from working in the laundry and intake office to the learning center. Guests also work in the kitchen, assisting the chef in preparing three healthy and balanced meals a day. Breakfast typically includes cereal, grits, eggs and juices to get everyone started on their day. Lunch could be sandwiches, salad and soup – but the big meal of the day is dinner, which is a three-course affair. Johnson stressed that nutrition is their main concern, and they strive to include lots of fresh produce in their weekly menus, which are supplemented with canned and frozen foods as well. Good food helps underfed guests bulk up to healthier weights. A typical gain for a man over his one-year program stay could be 50 pounds.
The mission’s food program is reliant on donations from many sources, private charities and groups, PhilAbundance, the Greater Philadelphia Food Bank and colleges and universities as well as individual donations. Other missions and shelters also work together to distribute food. Johnson said if another shelter in Wilmington has “a pile of meat,” they will share it with the mission.
Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission serves about 3,600 meals a week, or 187,200 meals a year. They help thousands of men, women and children through their programs. If you would like to volunteer or donate to the mission, they can be contacted at (215) 922-6400, or on the Web at www.sundaybreakfast.org.
Felicia D’Ambrosio can be reached at Caspian@temple.edu.