Making a Difference... One Life At A Time!
The Bread of Life Outreach (BOLO) is a 501(c)(3) ministry of the Newport Assembly of God Church, located in Newport Pennsylvania, Perry County. Our county has a high poverty rate. Up to fifty-five percent of the students in our various county school districts qualify for the federal government free or reduced lunch program.
For the past 26 years, BOLO has received and distributed a variety of products at no cost to the recipients. Products include: canned goods, meats, fresh produce, cereals and snacks. In addition, cleaning supplies, health and beauty products, diapers, formula, non-prescription medicines, medical supplies and equipment, school supplies, housekeeping items, used furniture and appliances are also distributed. We have a small warehouse (6,500 sq. feet) with a loading dock and a forklift truck. Currently we also utilize storage space from the former Campbell's Trucking Company in Millerstown, located six miles from Newport.
One part-time person manages our volunteer warehouse crews, processes the bills of lading and along with the founding pastor locates and maintains relationships with donors. Over 300 volunteers from various churches and members of our community make it work. Over 12,000 volunteer hours have been documented for 2017. Currently (November, 2017), the BOLO active recipient list is comprised of 1,888 families representing over 4,591 individuals.
Since the beginning of BOLO in 1994 through December of 2017, God has miraculously enabled BOLO volunteers to receive, process and distribute over 42,542 tons of materials valued at over $148,897,880.25
Numerical metrics are easy to document and present. What is more important yet difficult to quantify and report are the lives being transformed by the love and mentoring of our volunteers and the hope given through Jesus Christ.
Our compassion ministry has two main objectives, to serve the struggling and to help the helpers.
First of all we serve individuals and families with incomes below the poverty line. In addition to providing products from our warehouse we network and combine our financial resources with groups like the Salvation Army, Join Hands, The Wings of Kindness Foundation and local churches to provide funds for rent, heat, utilities, etc.
We also assist the working poor. Many of these families do not qualify for government assistance but often cannot meet common household expenses from month to month. Since we do not receive any funding from the government, we are able to help large numbers of people who fit this category.
We have various means by which we distribute products:
- Free shopping for food and non-food items at our Newport Front Street Warehouse three days each week and the second Saturday of each month.
- Pre-packed food boxes, fresh produce and sundries are distributed the fourth Saturday of each month at Journey Christian Church, Thompsontown.
- Emergency food and medical supplies are provided as needed.
- Frozen food distribution one day per month at the Family Life Center, Shortcut Road Newport.
- Products supplied to stock the food pantries of regional churches.
- Church attendees deliver boxes to struggling families they have identified in their neighborhood on their way home after Sunday worship services.
- Food and personal hygiene product pantries located at Fermanagh Elementary, Tuscarora Jr. High School, West Perry, East Juniata and Greenwood High School buildings for students in need. Additional school locations are in the developmental stage.
- Products are shared with trusted ministry partners and network agencies involved in compassion outreach primarily in the Eastern US and selected areas throughout the nation.
In addition to products from our warehouse, the following services are provided to struggling members of our community.
- Life Recovery Ministry (Two professional counselors and volunteer mentors assist individuals with life controlling addictions)
- Alcoholics Anonymous group
- Common Bond (Two support groups for grieving mothers and widows.)
- Genesis (A group for men struggling with pornography and/or other sexually habitual and addictive behaviors)
- Prom Perfect Event (Free prom gowns, tuxedos, suits and accessories)
- Christmas Toy Distribution (Gifts for parents to give to their children)
- Little Shoppers Christmas Distribution (Gifts for children to give to their parents)
- Mentoring services (Marriage, parenting, budgeting, food preparation and additional life skills)
- Assisting school children (Back packs, school supplies, haircuts, clothing, etc.)
- Offer friendship, hope, direction, strength and encouragement through Jesus Christ, the Christian community and the practical teachings of Scripture.
Our second objective is to help the helpers. BOLO networks with and assists the helping agencies and organizations in Perry, Juniata Counties and others throughout the United States to accomplish their mission.
Some organizations we assist are: Children and Youth, Literacy Council, Public Assistance Office, Office of Aging, Office of Veterans Affairs, UTurn for Christ Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Ministry, School Districts, Join Hands, Linda House, Sonshine Ministries and Perry Human Services.
Following are some of the organizations with whom we network and receive and/or share product: Central PA Food Bank, Bethesda Mission, New Hope Ministries, Join Hands, Convoy of Hope (Springfield, MO), Feed the Children (Oklahoma City, OK), The Wings of Kindness Foundation (Thompsontown, PA), Operation Blessing (Virginia Beach, VA), Stoltzfus Truck Brokerage (Kinzers, PA)
In the past, our ministry has received grants from The Wings of Kindness Foundation, Lancer Inc. LLC, and other groups who prefer to remain anonymous.
Since the year 2003 The Convoy of Hope, Springfield MO has leased to BOLO a refrigerated box truck for $1.00 per year.
A trucking company in Central PA has provided free overland transport of products from donors to our warehouse and to our ministry partners for over 20 years. They provided $129,000 in shipping costs during 2016.
In 2010 The Abundant Life Ministries located in Thompsontown, PA, Juniata County, presented the Newport Assembly of God Church with an 18,500 square foot, 14 year old, church building. It is located on ten acres, outside of Thompsontown. The building was deeded to our organization for $1.00. We started a second church location in 2013 and extended the BOLO ministry into Juniata County. We are currently assisting over 200 families at that location.