For 38 years, Lynchburg Daily Bread has provided a free, hot meal every day of the year from our commercial kitchen in downtown Lynchburg. We are adapting due to COVID-19 and are serving all meals “to-go” with minimal contact. In 2019, we served 78,689 meals to the homeless and hungry of our community, the most ever in our history. Our office hours are 6:30am-12:30pm, 7 days a week.
Thanks to the generosity of our community partners, we receive approximately 800 pounds of food per day. In Fall of 2013, we started a meals outreach program to reach outlying areas of Lynchburg and the surrounding counties with excess food and meals. Our goal is to save more food from the landfills by connecting with new restaurants, stores, and farmers and take it to people in need. The following meals outreach sites are free and open to the public:
Our guests include workers who are recently unemployed or those with temporary or part-time jobs who can’t make ends meet. We also serve the elderly and the disabled on fixed incomes, families with small children/babies, single parents and persons with mental health challenges. Approximately 40% of our guests are over the age of 50. We are seeing an increase in the number of families coming to Daily Bread and feel so fortunate to be able to help children facing tough times.
Founded in 1982 by First Presbyterian Church of Lynchburg, we are now an independent 501c-3 charitable organization. The first meals were served from the historic Nichol’s Tavern at the corner of Fifth and Madison Streets. In 1983, the organization moved to a building on Park Avenue owned by the Salvation Army. It remained at this location until 1989. Faced with a second move, Daily Bread sought funding for permanent quarters, and purchased the Knights of Columbus building located at Eighth and Clay Streets, which was built in 1835.
Daily Bread received significant renovations in 2013, including the installation of new ovens, donated by Columbia Gas and Southern Air. The Lynchburg Rotary Club sponsored dining room renovations which allowed for additional seats and improved traffic flow. St. John’s Church renovated our morning shelter, purchasing much needed new chairs, and doing ceiling improvements, painting and other repairs with church members.
A remarkable team effort allowed us to continue meals service downtown without missing a day through COVID-19. On March 19, 2020 Daily Bread switched to all “to-go” meals and closed all common areas. April 2020 was our busiest month ever with 10,094 meals served. Then August 2020 topped that with 10,366 meals, while still serving 10 Meals Outreach sites.
Volunteers are the lifeline of Lynchburg Daily Bread. Each day, 10-12 volunteers prepare, cook and serve the meal to the homeless and hungry of our community. Daily Bread employs a part-time director, supported by 3-4 part-time staff each day who handle maintenance, volunteer/project scheduling, and kitchen supervision. In 2019, volunteers contributed 15,455 hours – a value of $393,021 (more than our operating budget!) We literally could not exist without our wonderful volunteers. If you would like to help, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator.