Broken Bread Ministry seeks to feed those in need

By SCOTT MIMS / Staff Writer

CALERA — A partnership between community members, local churches and businesses is helping to fill the pantries of families in need.

The Broken Bread Ministry, which initially grew out of a missional community at Collectivus Church, has two refrigerated coolers set up at Concord Church and at Restore 54, in addition to a dry goods box at Restore 54 in Calera.

The coolers allow items like fresh fruits and vegetables to be donated. (Contributed)

Concord Church is located near the intersection of U.S. 31 and Shelby County 22, while Restore 54—a thrift store operated by My Sister’s Place, a women’s ministry that is part of Christian Life Fellowship—is in downtown Calera on U.S. 31, across from the Calera Post Office.

Anyone may either donate to or take items from one of the boxes. People are asked to avoid donating any meat or dairy items, as these are more susceptible to spoilage in the case of a power outage.

“We wanted to be able to have some type of mission to bless the people of Calera and even the surrounding areas,” said Valerie Goebel, a member of the missional community. “This mission isn’t just about Collectivus. It’s about everyone coming together in the body of Christ.”

The “missional community,” which is similar to a church small group but is mission-based, started meeting outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic but later moved indoors as things became safer.

The name for the Broken Bread Ministry arose from the scripture passage found in Acts 2:46-47: “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

Goebel said, “We get to eat together every night, but some of these families don’t get to eat together, because they may be in want.”

Goebel said the objective was to find strategic areas in the city where donation boxes could be placed so that they would be impactful for the community. Concord Church was selected because it is in a high-traffic location, and the church already does a food drive every Saturday morning. The first box was placed there April 22.

The mini fridges were donated by Buffalo Rock, which is located near the workplace of Goebel’s husband, Alex. The units will come in handy during the summer and are accessible 24/7. The Birmingham News has also donated empty stands that can be used as donation boxes.

“I have seen an outpouring of a variety of different things,” Goebel said. “Everything has been brand new within a good date. The donations have been good, especially at Box No. 1, which is at Concord.”

Each cooler has a list of recommended items placed on the front as well as a contact email for anyone with questions. People may also inquire about having another cooler placed by emailing Brokenbreadcalera@gmail.com.