Breakfast Program

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Winter Breakfast Program

The FOCUS Winter Breakfast Program provides a hot meal and a bag lunch to 300-400 people a week during the coldest months of the year. Open Tuesday through Thursday from November to April, the breakfast is staffed by volunteers who cook, serve, clean, and engage the guests in conversation. Breakfast guests are all ages, though the great majority of them are adults and seniors.

The Breakfast Program is a much needed one. Currently there are only two other agencies offering breakfast during the winter. One of these is not open on the same days as the FOCUS Winter Breakfast. The other includes religious programming with its meals, which makes it an uncomfortable environment for some people.

The FOCUS Winter Breakfast is open to all. The only “requirement” is that guests be hungry for a good meal! Although it is run by a coalition of churches, there is no requirement or expectation that guests will be involved in any religious activity—unless they choose to do so.

The FOCUS Winter Breakfast Program serves a hot breakfast from November through April.

Anyone who would like to join us is welcome! Just find a seat and a volunteer server will deliver your meal to you. We usually have an interesting mix of the homeless, the working poor and state and local leaders and service providers. Stop by for a cup of coffee and a chat with old and new friends, or enjoy a full breakfast and conversation with your tablemates.

Winter breakfast usually consists of an omelet or fried eggs, and an optional “meat” side of turkey sausage, chicken patty, hamburger or corned beef hash. Grits, toast and oatmeal are self-serve, as are coffee, juice and milk. Your server can also bring you fresh fruit (like apples, bananas or oranges), as well as yogurt.

A warm breakfast is served every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 7 am to 9 am in the fellowship hall at Westminster Presbyterian Church 85 Chestnut Street in Albany.

Breakfast Program Location: Westminster Presbyterian Church 265 State Street in Albany

Directions

Volunteer

All our FOCUS volunteers follow a simple process. First we would like you to fill out the volunteer application form so that we may get your basic info. Our volunteer coordinator, Belinda will then personally contact you and give your a tour. Once you have met with Belinda you may then sign up for your volunteer slots with Belinda. Thank you!

FOCUS VOLUNTEER APPLICATION

The Bigger Picture Over the years (28+) that the program has been open, one thing has become clear: this “temporary” feeding program is now a necessary one. Some people rely on the FOCUS Winter Breakfast for the larger part of their food each day that it is open. Others seek to relieve crunched budgets by partaking of a free hot meal. Still others relish the opportunity to sit and chat with friends over coffee.

Need for programs like this has been growing. Five years ago, we averaged seventy guests per morning. This year, we have been averaging 104. Difficult economic times have made programs like the FOCUS Winter Breakfast more necessary than ever, and there is no sign that this will change any time soon.

Funding for the FOCUS Breakfast Program comes from FEMA, New York State, member church donations and individual donations. Food is purchased from the Regional Food Bank and local suppliers. Approximately 15,000 meals were served last season.

At FOCUS Winter Breakfast, the motto is “We’re all in this together.”