Saturday’s/Sunday’s Bread was founded by Homer Platt 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.
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
First contribution from Walk for Hunger: $3,000
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
Mort Backer became the corporate and philanthropic fund-raiser
Old South Church paid for replacement of the electric range at Church of All Nations ($2,500)
Front-page coverage with photos in The Jewish Advocate
50,000th guest served
100,000th guest served
Mort Backer was succeeded by Lael (Plunkett) Murphy as corporate and philanthropic fund-raiser
Featured on channel 7 TV
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
Special award from Walk for Hunger for “Outstanding Service Feeding the Hungry”
200,000th guest served
250,000th guest served
283,000th guest served
Last meal served at Church of All Nations: church building closed, Church of All Nations dissolved as a congregation
Saturday’s/Sunday’s Bread re-opens at the Church of St. John the Evangelist
350,000th guest served
Launched clothing distribution program
Last meal served at the Church of St John the Evangelist (merged with the Cathedral of St Paul).
Opening Saturday’s/Sunday’s Bread @ Union United Methodist Church.