Breaking Bread with the Hungry

Dear Companions,

We broke bread with 257 guests at the rehearsal dinner for the Wedding of the Lamb.

I think it was Tet who wondered aloud how many bricks were in the Shot Tower. Guesses were all over the place. Fr. Josh guessed 1.5 million. Finally someone googled and came up with 1.1 million. Ronnie devised a method to count each brick.

There was much talk of jobs. It seems that jobs are more plentiful, with some businesses even employing ex-offenders. Tom is in a “blackout,” the two weeks work before the first pay check. Keith is moving from part time to 40 hours.

Easter is full of meals. Jesus broke bread with the disciples at Emmaus; later that evening he ate fish while with his apostles and later He prepared a picnic brunch for them at the Sea of Galilee. And then there is our meal.  Alleluia, Alleluia!



Breaking Bread with the Hungry – 2018 Menu Change

Changes are being made to the menu for our Friday night dinner for the hungry of Baltimore.  Beginning in January, lasagna will be served as the main entree on the fourth Friday evening.  We are in need of people to donate Stouffer’s Party Size Lasagna with Meat and Sauce, 90 oz size. (A total of 30 trays is required to feed our guests.) Lasagna trays are sold in the freezer section at Walmart and Sam’s Clubs for about $13 each.  There are many ways to help:  drop off frozen lasagna to the freezer in the kitchen marked BBwH, drop off fully cooked, ready to serve lasagna by 2:30pn on the fourth Friday of the month, or send in the money/check to purchase a tray of lasagna ($13/tray). Please contact Cathy Gallagher at 410-923-0096 or cgallagher1224@gmail.com if you are able to help.


Toiletries Needed

Breaking Bread with The Hungry is in need of travel-size toiletries. Please put them in the bin marked clothing in the upstairs elevator lobby.


Driver still needed for Breaking Bread with the Hungry

We have a pressing need for a driver to take the main food to St. Vincent’s once a month on the first Friday.  The driver needs a van or SUV since there is a fair amount of food to transport.  You need to arrive at OLF around 3:15 pm, load up (people are there to help), drive to St. Vincent’s, and then return the coolers and pots to OLF after the dinner is served.  You should arrive back at OLF by 7 pm. If you can help, please contact Dave Luddy at deluddy@gmail.com or 410-987-6562.  Thanks for your support to this important ministry.



Our weekly meal with poor and homeless people in Baltimore flows from our celebration of the Eucharist.  Providing a meal allows us to satisfy the very real physical hunger of many of our guests who often get only one meal a day.  It also gives us a reason to get to know people whose lives, because of their poverty, are especially blest and precious in God’s eyes.

We honor the dignity and value the friendship of the men, women and children with whom we share a meal each Friday evening and in whose faces we see the face of Christ.  We hope to enrich their lives by treating them with a respect they seldom find on the streets of Baltimore.

We too are enriched by their companionship on our pilgrim way toward the Kingdom of God.


The term “Breaking Bread” is used in Acts to refer to the Eucharist. Our mission statement explicitly says our mission flows from the Eucharist. The term “The Hungry” excludes no one. We are all hungry. We are born hungry. In addition to hunger for food, we all hunger for acceptance and love. The term also includes Jesus who said, “I was hungry and you gave me to eat.” Whether we prepare the food, serve it or eat it, we are all “The Hungry”.

Deacon Ed Stoops


In the Beginning:

The story of the Breaking Bread with the Hungry Ministry began in the late 1980s. One very cold “code blue” winter night, Deacon Ed Stoops, his wife Francine, and daughter Kate heard a televised news cast pleading for warm blankets and/or coats for the Baltimore homeless. They quickly responded, following the instructions to deliver the warmth goods to Baltimore City Hall. Their knocks on all the doors finally found a janitor who revealed a room full of warmth goods. An inquiry revealed that there was no one to deliver the coats and blankets that evening. Realizing that the need to distribute these items was immediate, Kate offered to make distribution. The janitor said he couldn’t give them the items, but could accidentally leave the door open as he continued his rounds. The Stoops loaded their car and drove around Baltimore distributing blankets and coats to those in need. As they distributed the coats and blankets someone asked for hot coffee. They returned the following Friday night with hot coffee. And so it started, every Friday night going to Baltimore to serve sandwiches and hot coffee. After awhile a suggestion was made that they stay at one location and those being served would come to them. The Breaking Bread with the Hungry Ministry started on the sidewalk across the street from city hall. Every Friday night for about the next 10 years about 40 folks were served a hot meal and given a “goody bag” to go. Eventually the ministry was asked not to serve on the sidewalk area and the poor were vacated from the park. An area near the Jones Falls Expressway, diagonally across the street from the jail, was provided to serve the meal. During the next 5 years the ministry continued to serve a hot meal and to distribute a “goody bag” to about 80 guests.

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The news of the Breaking Bread with the Hungry Ministry spread. The guests raved about the great meal being served. The number of guests continued to grew. Recognizing a need, the pastor at St Vincent de Paul Church on Front Street offered the church under-croft in which to serve the meal. This move enabled the ministry to respectfully serve up to 325 people each week. Besides the volunteers from Our Lady of the Fields and St. Vincent de Paul, many other communities, Christian and Muslim, donated their time and talents.

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Every Friday at 5 pm those in Baltimore needing nourishment are provided a hot meal, refreshing beverage, and dessert within an atmosphere of peace in the under-croft of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church on Front Street. As the guests depart the facility they are given a “goody bag” containing a sandwich, snack items, fruit, and a bottle of water. On the Fourth Friday of the month, Threaded Cross gives each guest a pair of socks. During the summer months, fresh vegetables from the Care for Creation Ministry’s straw bale garden are made available.

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Haircuts are given and donated clothing and toiletries are laid out for the taking.

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Each week, over 100 volunteers donate food items and cash, make casseroles, make sandwiches, prepare the hot meal, deliver the food to St. Vincent’s, serve the guests, and clean up. Whatever is not donated, Our Lady of the Fields purchases.

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Volunteers are Needed as Follows:

Transport/DeliveryCurrently there is a need for volunteers to deliver the food items to Baltimore each week. We have 5 drivers, but would like to lighten the commitment to only 1 or 2 Fridays each month and also for back up. At least 2 vans are needed each week to deliver all the OLF donated food items and heated entrées and casseroles. The drivers leave Our Lady of the Fields about 3:15. The drivers can drop off the food and supplies and return, after making arrangements to return and clean all the coolers. John and Joan Hoppa normally take care of the coolers. John Hoppa is the coordinator of the delivery service, please see the contact list below.

ServingServers are always welcome. To serve our Baltimore guests, every youth must be accompanied by a parent, arrive at St. Vincent’s by 4 pm to assist in setting up and preparing the “goody bags”. We begin serving the meal at 5 pm. The guests come into the hall in an organized manner and proceed along 2 serving lines. Servers assist at the dessert tables where the guests pick out their own dessert. Servers also refresh the drink table and clean the food trays when the guests complete their meal.   Clean up follows and we are usually completed around 6 to 6:30. We have drivers leaving Our Lady of the Fields each Friday at 3:15 should you care to follow them to Baltimore. Or, perhaps you would like to put your name on the list for back up delivery service, see above.

CasserolesPrepare and cook a casserole in a 9 x 13 alum pan to supplement the main entrée above. A casserole of your choosing with lots of protein will suffice, note a preference for non-pork casseroles on the 2nd week.  Bring the casserole to Our Lady of the Field’s kitchen by 2 pm on Friday so it can be re-heated and delivered to Baltimore.  Deliveries prior to 2 pm can be left in the OLF kitchen refrigerator. Please review the section on drop off times. Cover your casserole with aluminum and mark the top with “Fri”, the date and brief disclosure of the contents, i.e. contains nuts or pork or other important information that needs to be revealed. We have, in the past, put casseroles in the oven and later found out there was a salad inside.


If you like, we have a casserole team leader for the 1st, 2nd and 4th Friday to remind the folks via email who have committed to making a casserole on that particular week.  If you are interested in receiving an email reminder, contact the appropriate person on the contact list. There is a kitchen assistant each week to organize everything to take to Baltimore and to heat the entrées and casseroles.


Main Dish Donations: Below is a list of the main dish for each week of the month. Donations of any of the main dish items can be made at any time, placing the item(s) in the freezer at Our Lady of the Fields.  Mark the package “Fri” with the date.

First Friday – 8 64oz. bags of frozen prepared meat balls in Italian marinara sauce with 240 hoagie rolls to make meatball subs

Second Friday – 10 64 oz. Frozen containers cooked pulled pork and 240 hamburger buns

Third Friday – 480 All Beef Franks and 480 hot dog rolls

Fourth Friday – 500 chicken drumsticks plus10 containers 64oz. frozen Stouffers Mac and Cheese and/or Stouffers Lasagna

Fifth Friday – OLPH Choice


Staple  Donations – Most items are donated.  Current needs are highlighted red.                                

Perishables – Place in OLF refrigerator marked “Fri” with the date          Week(s) Needed

10 pounds shredded mozzarella cheese                                                                                  1

10 pounds shredded cheddar cheese                                                                                       3

2 large containers soft margarine for buttered bread                                                          1, 2, 3, 4

8 large bags tossed salad with dressing                                                                                  1

8 large bags cole slaw                                                                                                                 2

8 large containers potato salad                                                                                                 3

2 large pots chili                                                                                                                           3

8 doz. Hard Boiled Eggs to supplement already donated quantities             1,2,3,4

Protein filled casseroles 9 x 13 aluminum pans, no pork week 2                    1,2,4

225 sandwiches for “goody bag”s, individually wrapped                                                    1

300 sandwiches for “goody bag”s, individually wrapped                                                    2

400 sandwiches for “goody bag”s, individually wrapped                                                    3

400 sandwiches for “goody bag”s, individually wrapped                                                    4

200 sandwiches for “goody bag”s, individually wrapped                                                    5


Non-Perishables – Place on OLF shelving by the back door of the kitchen

6 #10 cans vegetables or baked beans                                                                         2,3,4

6 #10 cans fruit cocktail or sliced peaches                                                                1,3,4

2 super-size cans powdered iced tea or lemonade                                                  1,2,3,4

6 large boxes of individual assorted chips                                                                 3

2 large bottles each ketchup and mustard                                                                                  3

10 doz peanut butter crackers for “goody bag”s                                                                        1,2,3,4,5

10 doz peanut butter crackers for “goody bag”s                                                       1,2,3,4,5

10 doz granola bars for “goody bag”s                                                                                           1,2,3,4,5

10 doz granola bars for “goody bag”s                                                                            1,2,3,4,5

10 doz packs of cookies for “goody bag”s                                                                                    1,2,3,4,5

10 doz packs of cookies for “goody bag”s                                                                     1,2,3,4,5


Place on the floor by OLF shelving by the back door of the kitchen

20 bunches of bananas                                                                                                                  1,2,3,4,5

5 cases bottled water                                                                                                                     1,2,3,4,5


DessertsDesserts are being donated, but feel it would be helpful to have a commitment for weekly pies, cakes, brownies, and cookies. Please contact Ellen Draper.  See the contact list below.


Paper Products – As of this writing Our Lady of the Fields is paying for all the paper products. Donations of any of the items listed below would be greatly appreciated. Please place your donation on the shelving units at the back door of the kitchen at OLF.  Dave Luddy is the contact for paper products.  See the contact list below.


      Paper supplies used for Breaking Bread with the Hungry Ministry


Item Number needed each month Current source
Supplies used by our guests:
Plastic knife, fork and spoon (must be individually wrapped with napkin included) 1200 Webstaurant.com
8 3/4 inch paper plates (must be strong enough to hold dinner with hand on one side of plate) 1200 Costco
6 inch plates (cheapest available) 1200 Webstaurant.com
5 oz paper cold cups 1200 Costco
12 oz.  paper cold cups 1200 Costco
11×17 paper for placemats (white or any color) 1000 Office Supply King.com
Salt Box of 1000 packets Webstaurant.com
Pepper Box of 1000 packets Webstaurant.com
Tinfoil sheets One box Costco
Supplies used by the servers/staff: One box of 80 Costco
55 gal trash can liners One box Webstaurant.com
Clear poly gloves – large One box Webstaurant.com
Clear poly gloves – medium One box of 1000 Costco
Thank you bags 1/2   roll Webstaurant.com
Table cloth rolls (40″ wide by 300 ft) 4 rolls Costco
Paper towels 6 rolls Costco
Toilet paper 3 rolls Walmart
Hand sanitizer  2  bottles
Roll of heavy duty aluminum foil  One large roll Costco
9 x 13 Aluminum Pans One box Costco


SandwichesSandwiches are always welcome. Currently, the goal is to have 1 sandwich for each “goody bag” but we would like to put 2 in each bag. If you are interested in making sandwiches on a regular basis, please contact Susan Burns. Refrain from using mayonnaise base spreads and/or ingredients during warmer months. Sandwiches need to be individually wrapped in sandwich zip lock baggies and placed back into the bread sleeves for ease in transport. Please review the section on drop off times

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At St. Vincent’s – Making up the “goody bag”s  and View from the dessert table to the Serving Area

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Group VolunteersShould a group of volunteers choose to volunteer together to prepare a Friday night menu or part of the menu, contact Joan Hoppa jhoppa2@verizon.net or Peggy Meyer pa.meyer@verizon.net or Ellen Draper ellengdraper@hotmail.com.

Cash DonationsCash donations are always welcome to cover the cost of paper products and all food supplies needed that are not donated. You can donate to Our Lady of the Fields, noting a gift for the Breaking Bread with the Hungry Ministry.


Timing of donations:

Casseroles/Sandwiches – Joan and John Hoppa and the kitchen assistant for the week arrive at the OLF kitchen about 2 pm each Friday. Please be sure to bring your casseroles and sandwiches to the OLF kitchen no later than 2:30 pm. Come to the OLF kitchen back door and ring the bell. During the school year, the doors to the OLF hall are open from 9 am to 4 pm and in the evening when there are events in the classrooms. During the summer months or when the doors are locked, you will need to seek admittance through the parish office which is opened Monday to Friday 8:30 to 4:30. When Friday is a holiday and the parish office is closed, you’ll need to bring your items on a prior day of the week or come at 2 pm to the OLF kitchen back door.

Entrées/Other Non-Perishable Staples – Items for the freezer can be dropped off any time that there is access to the kitchen. See the casserole/sandwich section for times during the week. The kitchen is accessible during the times of Sunday and daily Masses.

Perishable Staples – Perishables can be dropped off any time there is access to the kitchen as listed above. Just be conscious of the disposal date of the item being sure to mark the item “Fri” with the date and placing the item in the OLF kitchen refrigerator, preferably the Coca-Cola refrigerator.

Directions to St. Vincent DePaul Church – 120 N. Front St., Baltimore

  • 97 North
  • 695 Beltway towards Towson
  • Exit I95 North
  • Exit 395 towards Inner Harbor
  • Bear left onto Howard St. – toward the stadiums
  • Right onto Conway
  • Left at the Harbor onto St. Paul (Light Street) towards Calvert St.
  • Right onto Pratt St. towards Little Italy
  • Left onto President Street
  • Bear right at entrance to 83N onto Fallsway
  • Rear of the Church is on the right, next to the park on Fayette and Fallsway
  • Pull into 2nd entrance to the St. Vincent DePaul parking lot
  • The entrance to the church hall is down the breezeway between the rectory and the church entrance on Front St

To return home

  • Right on Front St. from the parking lot of the church
  • Right on Fayette
  • Left on St. Paul
  • Right on Conway
  • Left on Howard at Orioles Stadium
  • Onto 95 South


Deacon Ed Stoops, Coordinator Breaking Bread with the Hungry Ministry     ed73@verizon.net

John Hoppa, Delivery Coordinator        jhoppa2@verizon.net                410-768-1284

Joan Hoppa, Kitchen Coordinator        jhoppa2@verizon.net                410-768-1284

Ellen Draper, Menu Coordinator     ellengdraper@hotmail.com             410-788-9415 (home) or 410-887-3113 (work)

Peggy Meyer, Facility Coordinator        pa.meyer@verizon.net            978-994-9638

Mary Pratt, 1st Friday Casserole Coordinator                MLPRATT@comcast.net

Susan Harvey-Roundy, 4th Friday Casserole Coordinator          lotus1019@aol.com

Susan Burns, Communications/2nd Fri Casserole Coordinator   seburns318@comcast.net             410-245-0890

Dave Luddy, Paper Products Coordinator                     deluddy@gmail.com


Thanks for volunteering and being Christ to the poor. Blessings and all good to you and your family,

The Breaking Bread with the Hungry Ministry