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Curious About The Bridge?
The First Two Wednesdays of the Month @ 5pm
What We Do
We cook enough food to feed 150+ people who wait in line under the bridge for a meal.
One of my favorite little buddiesHe's usually first in line and loves to give hugs. I just can't get enough of him. What a wonderful little guy, with parents trying hard everyday just to survive.
How many people does WipGirl serve?
We feed anywhere from 150-200 people each time we serve. Depending on when the first two Wednesdays of the month land, determines how large the crowd will be. The very beginning of the month is typically very busy. A couple years ago, we would feed anywhere from 60-100 people a night – now we are consistently seeing numbers upwards of 150+.
How long have you been doing this?
We started in June of 2013. We being my husband, my mom and myself. When my husband, Jim and I started our company WipBiz.com (a training company), and when I simultaneously started writing my first book “How To Get A Raise” (for sale on Amazon), I knew we needed to give before we could ever expect to see success. I spend 20 years in the corporate world, and my job never left time to make this kind of impact in the community. Now, I can write and plan my speaking engagements around “The Bridge” and it is truly the best thing we do with our lives.
We have had so many life changing experiences, that I can’t imagine life without my buddies under the bridge. When we started, we served every Wednesday for 18 months. I never said much about it. I felt I needed to earn the right to talk about this experience. After a year and a half, some additional folks were volunteering and we were able to cutback to the first two Wednesdays of the month. Giving us more time to spend on our growing business. I love this schedule. It gives me a great balance.
Where do you prepare the food?
All the food is prepared in my kitchen. I have my food handlers certification, and I often have volunteers that will come help me cook. The WipGirl kitchen opens at noon on the first two Wednesdays of the month, and anyone is welcome to come help me cook. The are times when I’m the only one in the kitchen, and those days always keep me hopping. I always post something on facebook about the menu or the schedule. I have had people come all the way from Texas to help me cook. Connect with me on www.facebook.com/wipgirl if you’d like to follow our efforts. My mom also makes food at her house. Usually hotdogs and desserts. She’s been helping since we started, and I feel so blessed to have her involvement. She’s amazing – at 71 years old, there’s nothing she can’t do.
Where do you get your recipes?
Cooking is a hobby and a passion of mine. I’ve come up with some super good recipes over the years, and honestly when you’re cooking for 150 people, there’s a great deal of divine intervention. Most of the time, I come up with my own recipes and now we get requests. (I just love requests!) My hash brown casserole seems to be a favorite, Swedish meatballs are always a huge hit, and whenever I smoke salmon on the Traeger, folks get really excited, (thanks for donating all the salmon dad!). It’s basically like a massive tailgate party with awesome food – what could be more fun right?
How much does it cost to prepare this meal?
We pay approximately $1-$2 for every meal we serve. Aside from the protein always being the biggest expense, it seems the paper supplies are the next biggest expense we have to manage. (Paper supplies are over and above the cost of the food we serve and typically can increase the cost of the meal to almost $2 each.) Large paper plates, plastic silverware, napkins, aluminum foil, large aluminum tin pans for baking, paper cups, plastic wrap…these are our biggest expenses. It’s costs us between $300-$400 per month to provide this meal, (the best money we could ever spend.)
We have wonderful volunteers and when someone can afford it, they will donate a few dollars to our cause. I always get so excited when we get donations! Even when we are running short on funds for the month, there always seems to be some sort of miracle that takes place to get the food we need to take care of those who would otherwise go hungry.
If you would like to support our efforts, we would be so grateful, and thrilled, and ecstatic! Click the donate button above or go to www.paypal.me/wipgirl.
How can you get involved?
If you’d like to prepare something from your kitchen you can bring it down to The Marion St. Bridge at 5pm on either the 1st or 2nd Wednesday of the month.
It would be best to coordinate directly with Jennifer, and let her know you will be coming. This way she can make sure there will be enough table space for all the food and drinks. Jennifer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also donate supplies or food. Please contact Jennifer to make arrangements for pickup or delivery.
We believe that providing a warm meal to those who cannot provide for themselves is the least we can do in this life. And if our efforts can help a few poor souls feel better, even for a brief moment in their day, then we have succeeded.