Monte Cristo Bakery in Delta donates boxes of unpackaged bread to Deltassist every week, which volunteers pack up and take to different locations around the municipality. Grace Kennedy photo

Deltassist bread program helps feed people in need

The program makes excess bread from a local bakery available to Delta residents who need it

Delta residents in need are finding food in unlikely places thanks to Deltassist and Monte Cristo Bakery.

Around four years ago, when Monte Cristo Bakery moved to Delta, the two organizations joined forces to create a bread gleaning program. Every Wednesday, 30 to 70 cases of bread get dropped off at Deltassist’s North Delta location on Scott Road.

And every Wednesday, that bread is packaged by volunteers and delivered to locations across Delta: from libraries and churches to seniors housing and government agencies.

“It gives me so much satisfaction to know that someone who maybe can’t get a meal a day can have something for them and their family,” said Shahirose Nathoo, operations manager at Monte Cristo Bakery.

Julie Chadwick, executive director of Deltassist said she feels much the same way.

“Prices of food are going up and up and up,” Chadwick said. “This really helps people out.”

“A woman had come up to me in our waiting room and said, ‘Thank you so much for having this here, because it makes a difference because I can buy a bus ticket now,’” she said.

“That’s the difference this bread is making.”

Sometimes, Monte Cristo donates ordinary french bread; sometimes, it’s scones or lemon loafs. On Wednesday, Sept. 13, it was olive bread, crusty french loafs, small hot dog buns and seed-coated bread.

There were six volunteers in Deltassist’s cold back room that day, packaging the bread in plastic bags. Susan Ramsay has been volunteering with the program since it first started.

“It’s a good way to start out every Wednesday; it makes you feel good all day, doing something for the community,” she said.

“There’s a definite need,” volunteer Barbara Leech added. “Someday we might need it ourselves.”

Normally, Ramsay said, there are 10 volunteers who package the bread on Wednesday mornings, plus an additional three or four volunteers who drive the bread to the various locations around the community.

“Our volunteers just run this program,” said Carly Geistlinger, office manager for Deltassist. “Our work is so minimal; They come in, they take care of everything.”

Taking care of everything generally means packaging the bread, since it comes in bulk from the bakery, as well as organizing where the bread should go and how much should be brought to each location.

Once the bread is dropped off, it’s available for all Delta residents.

“There’s no questions asked. People can just take the bread if they need it,” Geistlinger said. “Nobody has to prove that they are poor to have it. There’s no stigma associated with the bread.

“And I think from the people I’ve talked to it does really make that difference.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Delta council votes to eliminate controversial end-of-service benefit

Three current councillors who served on the previous council will still receive lump-sum payouts

New Surrey councillor is a newer dad

Mandeep Nagra’s son Kabar was born at Surrey Memorial Hospital, four days after the civic election

Tip from resident helps Delta police stop break-and-enter in progress

Two men were arrested allegedly in possession of various stolen items and break-and-enter tools

Over-budget bids cause delay of four Surrey school projects

Two projects have gone back out to tender, two awaiting ‘revised budget approval’ from Ministry of Education

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

B.C. police watchdog calls for investigation into police board spending on former Victoria police chief

Police Complaint Commissioner says accountable and transparent review is in public interest

South Korean named Interpol president in blow to Russia

South Korea’s Kim Jong Yang was elected as Interpol’s president edging out a longtime veteran of Russia’s security services.

E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sickens 18 people in Ontario, Quebec

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it’s working with U.S. authorities to determine the source of the romaine lettuce those who got ill were exposed to.

Trump defies calls to punish crown prince for writer’s death

The U.S. earlier sanctioned 17 Saudi officials suspected of being responsible for or complicit in the Oct. 2 killing, but members of Congress have called for harsher actions, including cancelling arms sales.

British, EU leaders to meet as Brexit deadline looms

The U.K. and the European Union agreed last week on a 585-page document sealing the terms of Britain’s departure.

Richard Oland was killed ‘in a rage,’ prosecutor tells son’s murder trial

The verdict from Oland’s 2015 murder trial was set aside on appeal in 2016. Richard Oland, 69, was found dead in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011.

B.C.’s HMCS Edmonton rescues two more sea turtles

Warship credited with a turtle rescue earlier in November

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Most Read