A new program to feed Isla Vista’s homeless is, for now, homeless.
Until it finds a place to stay, the Breakfast Club and its plan to provide free hot breakfasts for the needy are on hold. Although it has enthusiasm, a little bit of money and volunteers already lined up, the program is stalled for lack of a sink and a microwave.
The program is the creation of Father Jon-Stephen Hedges of Saint Athanasius Antiochian Orthodox Church. Hedges’ plan to distribute morning meals each day in Anisq’ Oyo’ Park has the support of the Community Action Commission (CAC) and other groups from UCSB and Isla Vista. What it lacks is the ability to serve hot food everyday in Anisq’ Oyo’ Park and be within the law.
At an I.V. Recreation and Parks District meeting Feb. 6, the board said it likes Hedges’ program but that it does not have the authority to bend regulations for the Breakfast Club. For starters, the club would need a permit.
“The permit itself wouldn’t be that difficult to get,” Hedges said, “but you also need minimal kitchen facilities on-site like a sink for cleanup and a microwave, because the food has to be served at a certain temperature and if it’s delivered cold, we need to be able to warm it up.”
A couple of Isla Vista churches might host the breakfasts. Saint Mark’s Catholic Church and others have expressed interest, Hedges said, but are unsure if they will help the program.
The hot meals would be prepared at the CAC using food from the Food Bank of Santa Barbara County and delivered to the site. Hedges said he estimates the Breakfast Club will serve 40-50 meals a day for $2.85 each, which covers the cost of the food and labor needed to prepare and deliver. The Breakfast Club has already raised $500, Hedges said, about enough for four or five days’ meals.
Hedges said he is looking into holding the breakfast at one of the local churches or the University Religious Center, although it will not be directly affiliated with a religious institution.
“I think that really one of the strengths of this program is that no one institution has stepped up and said that they want to take this thing over,” he said. “I just received an e-mail from the chancellor’s office saying that they were very supportive of the program. We have gotten tons of on-campus organizations saying that they want to take a day.”
After the CAC delivers the food to the chosen location, Hedges said a different organization would volunteer each day of the week to serve the meals. Among the groups who have already requested to volunteer are the Community Affairs Board, Alpha Phi sorority and the Orthodox Christian Fellowship. Once Hedges has found a place to host the breakfast, the CAC can begin preparing the meals with little notice. Breakfast will be open to people without kitchens to cook in.
The program’s name came not from the eponymous 1985 film about teen angst and rebellion, Hedges said, but from a joke made by a Daily Nexus staff writer.
If any organization is interested in donating time or money to the Breakfast Club, it can contact Hedges by e-mail at .