Soup Kitchen offers sustainable, local and healthy foods

by | Apr 5, 2012 | Vincentian Family

In a cooperative effort to promote healthy nutrition in low income neighborhoods,  Bead and Life helps ensure that community members have access to fresh fruit, vegetables, and other produce.We do this by using the CSA’s Hub and Spoke approach.  A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is buyer’s group between community members and farmers.  Our partnership is made possible though sponsorship by United Way and Just Food.  St. John’s Bread and Life further serves as a distributing site to four other emergency food agencies throughout Brooklyn.

Apricots, peas, spinach, and strawberries; Spring is a great time of year for fresh fruit and vegetables!  St. John’s Bread and Life is constantly working toward providing fresher, healthier food to our guests.  In fact, when it comes to both healthy choices and sustainability, in the words of Christy Robb, Director of Food Services at Bread and Life, “We strive to be a role model for the community by providing the healthiest food choices possible.  We work beside and with the individuals we serve to bring about changes in their lives and our world.”

Looking to develop partnerships with local farms, both Christy Robb and Tony Butler have taken trips to farms, including Wildflower Farm(Valley Falls, NY), Glebocki Farms(Goshen, NY), and Winter Sun Farms (Hudson Valley, NY).

We have also visited and teamed up with Farm to Table Co-Packers, a contract packaging facility who works only with local NY State farms.  They processed and canned applesauce for our holiday Sponsor-A-Family program and we’ll be receiving our first delivery of beautiful frozen vegetables including corn, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, and red peppers for the soup kitchen and pantry this coming week!

These initiatives are exciting for the individuals we serve, the farms who we’re partnering with, and our organization.  In providing fresh, healthy food we not only manage to better serve our guests but also support local farms and reduce our carbon footprint.  It can’t be beat!

To find out more about St. John’s Bread and Life’s program, visit:


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