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Grateful Bread: initiative to feed the needy

Glorious food: Juliana Snelling and Diane Steede, who have organised the Grateful Bread with a group of friends. The once-a-month initiative starts tonight (Photograph supplied)

A once-a-month initiative to bring meals to the needy launches tonight, courtesy of a team of volunteers dubbed the Grateful Bread.

Held from 6pm to 7.30pm at St Andrew’s Church hall on Church Street, the programme is to continue on the last Thursday of each month.

The group of roughly 30 people behind it are “friends who are very fortunate to never have to worry about whether we can afford the next meal for us and our families”, according to member Juliana Snelling.

She described them as “lawyers, policemen, pub and hair salon owners, trust company leaders, insurance executives, investment managers, home executive moms — the whole gamut”.

“We are always reading about the struggles of Bermuda residents arising out of our recent recession and their inability to afford the basics of life — groceries, rents, electricity, transport,” she said. “No one in Bermuda should be hungry.”

Ms Snelling, the director of Canterbury Law, acknowledged the island’s multiple helping organisations such as the Eliza DoLittle Society, the Coalition for the Protection of Children, and recently the First Church of God, which has launched its own affordable food imports scheme.

The group had come together through a church programme that later ceased operations, and thus decided to start their own “to say thank you for what Bermuda given us”.

In a nod to the American Thanksgiving tradition, which falls on the fourth Thursday of November, the Grateful Bread chose the last Thursday of each month “as a Thanksgiving gift to the community”.

“No one who is struggling should feel embarrassed to come,” Ms Snelling said.

“We have recognised private school kids at past feedings who are quietly struggling where no one would know it. Everything is confidential and no one should worry about that.”

The group has “no idea how many people may attend or whether the food will be too much or too little, but we will do our best”.

The Salvation Army will make use of any leftovers, so that no food is wasted.

Their name is taken from the band the Grateful Dead, Ms Snelling said, and Bob Marley is the music of choice at the meals — which can be eaten at the church or taken away.

Ms Snelling thanked Leon Amis of Amis Memorial Chapel, along with the elders at St Andrew’s Church — as well as Chef Michiko, The MarketPlace and Chef Angelo and Nikky at La Trattoria for contributing dishes.

To get involved, e-mail jsnelling@canterburylaw.bm