MAKE A DIFFERENCE: House of Bread needs staples

Elaine and Joe Bettman  are pictured  with the House of Bread’s executive director Melodie Bennett (center) in the Fall of 2018 during the construction of  the facility’s expanded family dining space. Joe Bettman, co-founder of the organization,  passed away Dec. 17.
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Elaine and Joe Bettman are pictured with the House of Bread’s executive director Melodie Bennett (center) in the Fall of 2018 during the construction of the facility’s expanded family dining space. Joe Bettman, co-founder of the organization, passed away Dec. 17.

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to help people in need, consider donations to the House of Bread. The non-profit organization has been feeding the hungry since 1983.

The special organization has been on my mind since I first heard the sad news of Joe Bettman’s passing on Dec. 17 at the age of 92. Joe was a social justice activist, community leader and philanthropist who, along with his wife Elaine, co-founded the House of Bread with Sister Dorothy Kammerer in 1983.

Melodie Bennett, executive director of the House of Bread, says Joe embodied the spirit of giving. “He will be remembered as a kind and caring individual who never missed an opportunity to help someone,” she says. “Joe’s philanthropic efforts and contributions to the House of Bread and many other charities in the Dayton area, made a significant difference to thousands of people.”

Bennett says the House of Bread still operates with Joe’s basic belief that “no one deserves to go hungry” and now serves a lunchtime meal 365 days a year.

“When the covid lockdown occurred in march of 2020, we were considered essential to the community and thus our doors remained open for lunch,” explains Bennett. " For most of 2020, the majority of our meals were served as carry-out meals. In November of that year, we added partitioned seating and the option to dine in again. The family dining room never closed and continues to be a warm welcoming space for our youngest guests. In the last 12 months, we have prepared and served over 150,000 meals locally.

The house of bread was 2021′s winner of the BBB’s Eclipse Integrity Award, presented to the agency in August of this year. It was also selected as Agency of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers, Ohio Chapter Region 7.

A particular challenge

This time of year, Bennett adds, is especially challenging. “When the holiday season ends, we typically see a significant decline in donations, but we’re serving just as many people, if not more, than we were during November and December.”

You can make a difference by donating financially or with product donations used daily at the House of Bread. These include:

  • Coffee
  • Sugar and creamer
  • Vegetable oil and pan spray
  • Spices for cooking
  • Pasta noodles and sauce
  • Rice
  • Dried beans
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Tomato sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Salt and pepper
  • Creamed soups
  • Bleach
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Lysol wipes and Lysol spray
  • Bars of soap or small shower gels
  • Small packs of toothpaste
  • Razors and shaving cream
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine Hygiene
  • Coloring books and beginning-reading books
  • Baby wipes and diapers, especially size 4 and 5

Donations are accepted every day of the year from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 9 Orth Avenue in Dayton. To make other arrangements, email melodie@houseofbread.org

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Meredith Moss writes about Dayton-area nonprofit organizations and their specific needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to share with our readers, contact Meredith: meredith.moss@coxinc.com.

Please include a daytime phone number and a photo that reflects your group’s mission.

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