BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH)– A code blue from a lifeline for the hungry and homeless in Bridgeport. The Bridgeport Rescue Mission says the harsh winter we’ve had so far has had a brutal affect on the non-profit and the folks who count on them.
Hot hearty soups feeding the hungry and homeless lined up for lunch inside the Bridgeport Rescue Mission.
Comfort food on a bitter cold day.
“We do about 900 meals a day,” said Chef Paul, Bridgeport Rescue Mission.
But the harsh winter hammering a crushing grip on the budget.
“It’s what we call a code blue season around here,” said Executive Director Pastor Terry Wilcox.
“We had 8 boiler heating systems to keep our buildings warm. This winter two of them failed at the coldest time, pipes froze, water damage, new boiler, repair the plumbing,” said Wilcox.
Still that’s not the priority. Replacing one of two mobile kitchens is at the top of the list.
“Our mobile is broke down with the transmission out of it and it’s not worth putting it in,” said Wilcox.
So they’re making do with a makeshift van so volunteers can deliver hot meals to 10 sites in this case cold meals by the time they’re served.
“They’re working outside right now in this very cold winter as well as the people who come for it, having to work out a makeshift van and carry out the hot boxes and such. It makes it much more difficult for everyone to get the hot nutritious meals,” said Paul.
“I have been homeless on the streets for months at a time,” said volunteer Mike.
He knows what it is like to go without.
“When you actually receive a hot meal, if you are sick and if you’re out in the cold and in the elements, you need that nourishment of a warm hot meal to get all the vitamins and nutrients that your body gets depleted after being out in the cold all day,” said Mike.
The hope is others will step up financially.
“We’re doing the best we can with what we have,” said Wilcox.
So those ‘not’ so fortunate get what they’ve come to expect at their ‘own’ dinner table.
Every night throughout the year, Bridgeport Rescue Mission delivers meals to 10 locations in Bridgeport and South Norwalk.
For more information on how you can help, go to bridgeportrescuemission.org.