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FAITH grant is valuable contribution to soup kitchen

CHAMPAIGN -- A 300% return on investments is a pretty big deal. That's how much one group says the community has benefited from special grants during the past couple years.
CHAMPAIGN -- A 300% return on investment is a pretty big deal. That's how much one group says the community has benefited from special grants during the past couple years. The Daily Bread Soup Kitchen is one group which has put that money to work. WCIA-3's Anna Carerra finds out more.

The soup kitchen got a $3,000 FAITH grant from Presence Covenant Medical Center. Organizers are using the money to help people get a lot more than just food.

They say there's no such think as a free lunch. For the most part, that's true. It costs money to fill the trays at Daily Bread, but there's more on the table than just sandwiches and salads.

"It's not about the food; the literal food," said Christopher Bradley, who lives in Champaign. "It's about my spiritual food."

Hundreds of people come there every day. Many have nowhere else to turn.

"I would be spiritually, emotionally and physically bankrupt if people like this wasn't here," said Bradley.  

But, after they're done eating, there's still more to be done.

Healthcare for the homeless vets and the SNAP program are just some of the groups making regular stops at the soup kitchen. It's all part of a program which started because of a FAITH grant.

"Between all the other agencies, we're here to have on-site access," said 
Daily Soup Kitchen Board President Bob Goss.  

That money also helps keep the place running.

Presence Covenant Medical Center has donated $150,000 in FAITH grants to places like Daily Bread. A University of Illinois group estimates it's contributed to more than $450,000 worth of benefit to the community. That money helps pay the bills so donations can be spent filling more trays.

"This is a community of different individuals coming together as a family to enjoy a meal and just talk with each other," said Goss.  

All of this, so some of the neediest in our community can get help. So, even though the expenses add up, it's still free for them.

"They're showing me, no matter what your past was, if you apply positive reinforcement, you'll have a positive outcome," said Bradley.  

The money was donated to eight non-profits during the past two years. It was meant to reduce emergency room visits, lower the obesity rate and increase access to healthcare.
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