Paula MacIlwaime of Oakwood, a volunteer at the House of Bread, serves a salad to Rodrick C. Smith of Dayton. The House of Bread serves a lunch time meal to anyone in need all week long. Eighty percent of the food they serve comes from The Foodbank.
Photo: Lisa Powell
Photo: Lisa Powell

House of Bread readies for $1.4M expansion

A longtime Dayton community kitchen, the House of Bread, is adding more seats to the table.

The House of Bread is breaking ground on a $1.4 million expansion to add 50 sears to the family dining room at its Orth Avenue facility. 

The agency has raised $800,000 so far for the project. It’s set to begin this fall and should be complete by summer 2018, according to a House of Bread press release. 

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The 4,800-square-foot expansion designed by LWC Inc., will allow the kitchen to serve nearly 30,000 more meals per year than it can serve in its existing 130-seat space, said executive director Melodie Bennett. 

The initial funding was provided by major donors such as the Dayton Foundation, the CareSource Foundation and PNC Bank but the kitchen is seeking an addition $600,000 to combat the local hunger problem. 

"The number of hungry people in the Dayton area is not getting any smaller," said House of Bread board president Ron Rollins in a release. "A bigger facility will help us keep up with this unfortunate trend." 

The kitchen has 220 to 334 guests come a day, serving about 80,000 meals per year in the dining room, according to the release. 

Bennett said the new space will also be used for families with those having mental health and other physical health disabilities. 

"A separate family dining area will give them a quiet and comfortable space to eat, play and receive resources," Bennett said. 

Plans also call for renovating the kitchen and new private meeting rooms. These rooms will give guests appropriate places to meet with representatives from partner social services. 

"Every additional person we serve is one more person who doesn't have to worry about where that day's meal is coming from," Bennett said. 

The House of Bread has been serving the hungry since 1983.

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