Bread for Life has found its home. After years of searching, the Board of Directors has announced that it has entered into an agreement in principle to purchase a parcel of land located at 31 Vermont Avenue in Southington from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Bread for Life proposes constructing a 3,200 square foot contemporary Cape style building to house all of its operations. The building will consist of a dining room, kitchen, food storage and office space that will consolidate its operations under one roof.
“Consolidating all our space is something we’ve always dreamed of – this agreement is very exiting” said Bill McDougall, Chairman of the Board of Directors. Once constructed, the facility will allow services and storage to be in the same location for the first time. The program will no longer be divided between the Friendship Hall at the Masonic Lodge where meals are served and food is prepared, and the storage at the local YMCA and St. Paul’s Church and administrative offices at the law office building of Tony Denorfia.
Now that a location has been found, Bread for Life will file for approval with the Southington Planning & Zoning Commission and, upon approval, will commence with a Capital Campaign.
The building project is being planned by what McDougall calls their A team – developer and builder Tony Denorfia of AA Denorfia Building & Development, architect Joe Eddy of AE Design Group, site engineer Steve Guidice of engineering firm Harry E. Cole & Son and Barry DePaolo of Anthony Jack’s restaurant. “We never would have embarked on this project without these professionals, who have all donated their services to us.” McDougall stated.
“We are very excited about this project and can’t wait to begin construction” said Eldon Hafford, Bread for Life’s Executive Director.
The community-focused St. Paul’s approached Bread for Life last fall and opened a dialogue on the property. St. Paul’s Vestry offered its support, followed by a full parish meeting where the proposal was given unanimous support. The Committee of the Diocese then approved the sale. Rev. Suzannah Rohman, pastor of St. Paul’s commented “Our entire organization is thrilled with the prospect of having Bread for Life as our neighbors. They housed their operations right here in our building for over 20 years and we are excited to have them back.”
When its program began in 1984, Bread for Life operated three days a week at three different churches, serving 16 people a week. By 1990, it had expanded to a five day a week program that served 10,500 meals annually. Last year, they provided more than 35,000 meals to people in Southington who would otherwise go hungry, according to Hafford.
“This project is a huge step forward for Bread for Life, however, even more so for those Southington residents who experience hunger every day,” Hafford said. “We can’t wait to accomplish even more once our new facility is open.”