Update: The Gathering on State

First Saturday Cook Group preparing the Saturday Lunch at State Street

First Saturday Cook Group preparing the Saturday Lunch at State Street

Numbers served at the State Street location since our move in late March:  March 26 – October 31, 2017
•    Breakfast    30,611
•    Saturday Lunch    5,358
•    TOTAL        35,969

Blessings
•    Larger dining hall space; easier to move around
•    Parking on site
•    No stairs; wonderful for those in wheel chairs who have difficulty walking
•    No stairs; wonderful for deliveries
•    Stable Saturday Cooks and Coordinators; slowly getting to know where things are and how things work in a new environment
•    Stable onsite Breakfast staff (Nicole and Pat) and stable management staff (Angela) with good communication skills, passion for their work, and willingness to work out issues with our host

Challenges
•    Due to the larger footprint (inside and outside) we found it necessary to double our Breakfast security from one guard to two  
•    Again, due to the larger dining hall, we quickly found we needed more volunteers than at the St. James location; summer was extremely challenging
•    We have one quarter of the storage space we had at St. James for dry and cold storage
•    Because we share the kitchen and dining hall space with our landlords - St. Ben’s Community Meal - requiring the moving of small appliances and supplies in and out of dining hall and kitchen on a daily basis
•    Little to no privacy is available for our collaborative services

One additional blessing was the financial success of our Capital Campaign.  It has given us the ability to add the additional security guard and to purchase items that relieve the stress on storage space.  Thanks to all of you who gave to the Capital Campaign, and to those of you who have volunteered at the new location.  We remain grateful for your compassion, dedication and joy.
 

Jillian

PEOPLE OF THE GATHERING

~ in community, feeding the hungry ~

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Jillian is a student at Glenwood Elementary in Greenfield, Wisconsin.   In February, Jillian and her second grade class collected money and food items to make 125 bag lunches for The Gathering.   They wrote letters to their families and their teachers about wanting to help people in need.  They learned that people who were homeless had joys and fears and families just like they did; and that 40% of the homeless were children just like them.  Each lunch included a second grader’s personal handwritten note.

You, too, can help The Gathering prepare and serve meals to those who are hungry.  Donations can be made by texting “gathering” to 501-55, or click here to contribute on our secure donation page.

NEW DOWNTOWN LOCATION: THE GATHERING ON STATE STREET

THE GATHERING ON STATE STREET

Capuchin Community Services - St. Ben’s Meal, 924 W. State Street

The move is complete.  The Gathering at St. James is now The Gathering on State Street.  Coakley Brothers packed and moved equipment, food, pots & pans, carts, prep tables and more on Friday and Saturday, March 24/25.  It took a semi and two delivery trucks.  Gathering staff, board members and volunteers spent Saturday afternoon cleaning, organizing and stocking the new site.

Our first Breakfast on State Street was Monday morning, March 27, with 178 guests.  We were greeted with bouquets of flowers from our friends and new landlords at Capuchin Community Services, St. Ben’s Community Meal – Br. Rob, Dean, Mike and Mark.

 

The move was celebrated on Tuesday with a fire brigade style passing of the remaining pots, pans and food items from St. James to St. Ben’s with the help of 100 Brookfield Central Key Club members and 50 other volunteers.

It has been a stressful AND GLORIOUS process, this move.  Our Capital Campaign goal to raise $50,000 formoving, equipment and renovation expenses was met by April 1.  Donations of money were matched by donations of supplies, time, expertise, creativity and skill. 

 

The space at The Gathering on State Street is much bigger than that at St. James, so we could use more volunteers each morning than we have in the past.  If you and a friend or two would like to join us some morning, please know that we welcome walk ins.  Be at the State Street location, 924 W. State, at 7:00 a.m. and be able to stay until 10:00.  If you have 4 or more volunteers, please call The Gathering office (414-272-4122) to get on the schedule.

 

We are blessed!  People in community feeding the hungry came together,

and I am confident will continue to do so.

THANK YOU ALL!

YOU CAN BECOME A CHEF BY HELPING THE GATHERING MOVE TO ST. BEN'S

THE GATHERING AT ST. JAMES TO BECOME

THE GATHERING ON STATE STREET

2017 CAPITAL CAMPAIGN:  MOVE WITH THE GATHERING

 

CAPITAL CAMPAIGN GOAL:   $50,000    CAMPAIGN TIMEFRAME: January – April 2017

SUGGESTED GIVING CATEGORIES:          HOW TO DONATE:

 $10,000                 Master Chef                  Check payable to:The Gathering, 804 E. Juneau Ave.  $5,000                   Chef                                                                  Milwaukee, WI 53202        $1,000                   Sous Chef                      MC or Visa:             414-272-4122 (Gathering office)  $500                      Cook                              Online: www.thegatheringwis.org                                     $100                       Server                           Email:   soulfood@thegatheringwis.org

OVERVIEW:  Begun in 1982, The Gathering prepares and serves hot, nutritious meals to Milwaukee’s hungry and homeless (90,000-100,000 annually) through four locations; provides food support to a north side tutoring/mentoring program; and conducts the Fresh Produce Preservation Project to preserve excess donated produce for use in Gathering meals.

Now, after 35 years at St. James Episcopal Church on 8th & Wisconsin (our founding site), we are moving our downtown breakfast and Saturday lunch programs to a new location.  The St. James building is up for sale and our ability to remain there is in question.  We have, therefore, secured space at St. Ben’s Community Meal on 9th & State.  This is a win-win for our Breakfast and downtown Saturday Lunch guests, many of whom also eat dinner at St. Ben’s.  It is also an opportunity for both organizations to explore joint programming and to enhance the stewardship of our resources. 

To accomplish this move without impacting our day to day operations, we need funds specified for the anticipated costs.  By contributing to this project you will help continue to provide Milwaukee’s hungry and homeless a hot breakfast and Saturday lunch for as long as the need exists.  Target date for the move is mid-March 2017.

# OF GUESTS TO BE SERVED AT DOWNTOWN SITE IN 2017:                                          Breakfast – 48,000                                                                                                                                  Saturday Lunch – 11,000

EXPENSE ITEMS:                                                                                                                          1.   $10,000:  Physical move of major equipment, cookware, bakeware, tools, storage racks,    tables, chairs, supplies and food.                                                                                                  2.  $25,000:  Purchase of equipment to fit available space (walk-in cooler, commercial fridge, rolling and standard storage, etc.)  The Gathering cooks all meals on site, requiring substantial equipment, prep space and storage.  Because space at St. Ben’s is limited due to their own meal service, we will be sharing certain equipment, creating space for some currently owned, purchasing new equipment to fit into available space, and locating creative tools to move supplies needed daily from one area to another.                                                                                          3. $15,000: Renovation costs including construction, electrical, plumbing, signage.                  

BREAKING NEWS! THE GATHERING IS MOVING OUR DOWNTOWN MEAL SITE.

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BREAKING NEWS! THE GATHERING IS MOVING OUR DOWNTOWN MEAL SITE. 

THE GATHERING AT ST. JAMES WILL BECOME THE GATHERING ON STATE STREET

A big move is in store for The Gathering this year.  We will be moving our downtown programs from St. James Episcopal Church on 8th & Wisconsin to St. Ben’s Community Meal Site at 9th & State.  Target time for the move is mid-to late March of this year.  This is not a merger with St. Ben’s; just a change of location and of landlord.  The Gathering will continue to cook and serve breakfast Monday through Friday and Saturday lunch at the same times and in the same way.  We are currently working with St. Ben’s on storage and additional kitchen space and will soon begin discussing the BIG 3 – policies, procedures and programming. 

The impetus behind this move is the potential sale of the St. James’ building.  Because we did not know whether or not The Gathering would be allowed to continue in that space once the building sold, we made the decision to seek a new location and to proceed with the move in our own time.  Both St. Ben’s and The Gathering come from faith-based perspectives and focus on providing meals to those in need with respect and dignity.  Hospitality is the backbone of both of our programs and we serve many of the same guests.  

As you may know The Gathering began at St. James Episcopal Church in 1982 as a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee with a Saturday lunch and Monday through Friday breakfast, primarily to complement the Sunday through Friday dinner served at St. Ben’s.  During these thirty-five years, hundreds of thousands of God’s people, both guests and volunteers, have walked through those doors seeking food and warmth and a human bond and have walked out satisfied.  It is with great sadness that we leave that space; yet we are filled with joy for the good work accomplished there.  

Please Note:  The move has no direct impact on our other three meal locations or office location.

We anticipate the physical move, renovation, and equipment purchases to cost $50,000.  To accomplish this move without impacting our day to day operations, we are conducting a Capital Campaign to cover those costs.  That’s where you come in. By contributing to this Capital Campaign you will help continue to provide Milwaukee’s hungry and homeless a hot breakfast and Saturday lunch for as long as the need exists.        You can give online by clicking here, by mailing a check to The Gathering Capital Campaign, 804 E. Juneau Avenue, Milwaukee, WI  53202, or by calling our office at 414-272-4122. If you have questions please call Ginny Schrag, Executive Director, at 414-272-4122 or email vrschrag@thegatheringwis.org.