History

Saturday’s/Sunday’s Bread was founded upon the insight that, while there were food programs for people in need in Boston from Monday through Friday, few, if any, served meals on Saturday or Sunday. The goal was – and is -- to fill this crucial gap.

This issue was addressed in a planning committee meeting of Boston-area clergy and concerned laity in January 1983. A scant two months later, Saturday’s Bread opened its doors. It served 54 guests that first Saturday. The organization has continued to serve meals to every person who appeared at its door every Saturday since then. In March 1985, the organization began to offer the same program of free, nutritious, hot meals every Sunday, and has done so ever since.

From the outset, Saturday’s/Sunday’s Bread had been a completely volunteer organization. There is no paid staff: all work is carried out by volunteers who freely contribute their time, expertise and financial support.

Following is a timeline of the Saturday’s/Sunday’s Bread history.

JANUARY 1983
Planning and Steering Committee meetings held at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church – Boston

MARCH 12 1983
First meal of “Saturday’s Bread” – 54 guests served
Original volunteer groups: Church of All Nations, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Emmanuel Gospel Center-Boston, Parish of the Epiphany-Winchester, Holy Cross Cathedral-Boston, The Oblate Community-Boston, Old South Church, St. John the Evangelist-Hingham, St. Stephen’s-Boston, Society of St. Margaret, South End Neighborhood Group, Trinity Church, Union United Methodist-Boston

DECEMBER 1983
First contribution from Walk for Hunger: $3,000

OCTOBER 1984
MIT Hunger Action Group became first college/university group to work with Saturday’s Bread (still participating)

MARCH 17 1985
At the first “Sunday’s Bread” program, “Saturday’s Bread” expanded to “Saturday’s/Sunday’s Bread” – 111 guests served
Temple Israel-Boston became first Jewish organization to join the program (still participating)
“The Ebenezer Four”: Miriam Young, Bertha Brown, Barbara Roach and Elizabeth Woody began a 10-year record of service for Saturday’s/Sunday’s Bread

AUGUST 1985
Mort Backer became the corporate and philanthropic fund-raiser

JUNE 1986
Old South Church paid for replacement of the electric range at Church of All Nations ($2,500)

AUGUST 1986
Front-page coverage with photos in The Jewish Advocate

APRIL 1987
50,000th guest served

DECEMBER 1989
100,000th guest served

SEPTEMBER 1990
Mort Backer was succeeded by Lael (Plunkett) Murphy as corporate and philanthropic fund-raiser
MAY 1991
Featured on channel 7 TV

MARCH 1991
Boston Chicken franchise, 725 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, made its first biweekly donation of chicken. Due to changing business conditions, the franchise closed in November 2000 after nine years of weekly donations.

AUGUST 15, 1991
All-time record for guests served: 310

SEPTEMBER 1991
Special award from Walk for Hunger for “Outstanding Service Feeding the Hungry”

APRIL 1995
200,000th guest served

OCTOBER 1998
250,000th guest served

JANUARY 2002
283,000th guest served

FEBRUARY 2003
Last meal served at Church of All Nations: church building closed, Church of All Nations dissolved as a congregation

FEBRUARY 2004
Saturday's/Sunday's Bread re-opens at the Church of St. John the Evangelist

 


Click here for an interview with Homer Platt, founder of Saturday's/Sunday's Bread

Copyright 2002 Saturday’s/Sunday’s Bread