About Bread Line, Inc.
Bread Line, Inc.
Bread Line is an anti-hunger organization that has been serving the Fairbanks community since 1984
For almost 40 years, the Bread Line has helped feed people and affirm lives in the Fairbanks, Alaska.
As a secular, NGO non-profit, the Bread Line depends on grants, donations and volunteers to #FeedFairbanks.
From our humble beginnings in 1984, Bread Line has grown into four programs:
- Stone Soup Cafe – A weekday soup kitchen for people eat good meals in a community space
- Stone’s Throw – A successful culinary job training program
- Stone Soup Garden – A community garden to improve food security in downtown Fairbanks
- Kids Cafe – A program involving children and families in addressing poverty
“Feeding people and affirming lives”
Collaboration – Community – Inclusiveness – Sustainability – Nourishment – Love
Fairbanks Has Its Own Stone Soup Legend
Our own Stone Soup story began over 30 years ago, when local residents James and Sharon Hunter encountered downtown neighbors who didn’t have enough to eat. They started making sandwiches and distributing them from their backpacks to folks on the street. They soon realized there wasn’t enough room in their backpacks to feed everyone in need. So James and Sharon went to Dick Farris and shared their concern. They approached a local church about the possibility of serving a hot, midday meal in the basement—The Bread Line community meal program was born. Today, Bread Line Stone Soup operate their programs—Stone Soup Cafe, the Kids Cafe, Stone’s Throw job training and the Stone Soup Garden project— from their own building on Gaffney Road. From this location at the center of the City of Fairbanks, we reach out to neighbors around our community.
The Legend of Stone Soup
A traveler arrives in a poor village in search of food. The townsfolk explain that they can each barely feed themselves, let alone a hungry stranger, and ask him to move on. Instead, the traveler offers to make the town some stone soup. Pulling a stone from his pocket, he drops it into a pot of water over a fire. The traveler then asks if anyone can add a little bit of cabbage, and a farmer does. He asks if anyone can spare just a few carrots, and a villager does. One by one, the villagers contribute as they can, until the whole community is gathered around a boiling pot of delicious soup to be shared among everyone. The moral of the story is that, with cooperation, everyone can have enough and together we create something much bigger than what we have alone. This doesn’t happen with a magic stone – it happens with your community caring.
Hannah has been with the Bread Line since 2016 and its Executive Director since 2018. Previously employed as everything from a butcher, a baker to a candlestick maker – being a part of the Bread Line team fills their cup like no other work has. When not at the soup kitchen, Hannah can be found volunteering for NASA’s Solar System Ambassador program, hosting their weekly space science radio show or fussing with their numerous house plants.
Emma DeRuyter was born and raised in the Goldstream Valley of Fairbanks, Alaska until 2016, when she moved to Bend, Oregon with her family. After going to high school in Bend and spending a year at college in Eugene, she decided it was time to move back to Fairbanks full time. Emma truly believes in the notion of “love all and serve all ” and is very excited to be a part of The Bread Line’s mission to support and nourish the Fairbanks community.
Stone Soup Cafe Chef
Matt has been cooking at the Stone Soup Cafe since 2014 and is known for his “home cooked” meals as much as he is his warm smile and big heart, Every day, Chef Matt makes sure that over 120 people eat a hot meal in a safe space every day. When he’s not cooking up a storm in the kitchen, Matt can be found wrenching on his rigs, skiing, hiking or rollerblading (depending on the weather).
Stone Soup Cafe Manager
Abby manages the Bread Line’s weekday soup kitchen, the Stone Soup Cafe. Her excitement for getting food into bellies has led her to various food jobs around town, most recently having finished her first season as a farm hand at Calypso Farm. She lives in a cabin with her cat and enjoys skiing, cooking, playing board games with friends and watching sub-par horror movies.
Program Manager, Stone's Throw
Born and raised in the Philippines, Marisa and her family moved to Chicago in 1998, where she earned a BAS in Culinary Management. Over the next decade, she worked in professional kitchens from fast food to fine dining. Marisa came to the village of Tok in 2013 for a summer job but soon fell in love with Alaska and decided to make Fairbanks her new home, where she currently lives with her significant other (who is also a chef) and their dogs. The Bread Line is Marisa’s first venture into the non-profit world and she is honored and excited to be part of an organization that makes positive changes in the Fairbanks community.
Production Chef, Stone's Throw
In the 7 years that Liann has been a production chef for the Bread Line, she has made over 100,000 delicious meals for Tanana Chiefs Housing First, gone to college, hosted countless cooking demos at the Southside Community Market & served on their board, started her own food truck (the one & ONLY Tots Proper), raised her 6 incredible kids, worked with Calypso Farm‘s Community Roots program, taught in our Stone’s Throw culinary job training classes… & a whole lot more.
Bread Line Board Members
Jason Case currently serves as the Bread Line Board’s Chair. “I joined the board because of the Bread Line mission and the amazing programs that benefit our community. I enjoy the sense of community Stone Soup Cafe creates by bringing people together for a meal and encouragement. It’s a great place to volunteer and meet new people.” Jason is a longtime Fairbanksan. He enjoys helping others, meeting new people, playing soccer, fishing, traveling, laughing and exploring the back country of Alaska with his family.
Jennifer Redmond, born and raised in Fairbanks, serves as the Treasurer for the Bread Line’s Board of Directors and is dedicated to the mission of “feeding people and affirming lives.” She is a Grants Administrator with Chugachmiut, which is an Alaska Native non-profit that serves the Chugach region. In her free time, she volunteers with the Cook Inlet Soccer Club and enjoys spending time with family and bernedoodle Banksy. It is an enriching experience to serve on the board with compassionate people doing incredible work in her hometown. The work of the Bread Line touces lives meaningfully every day, leaving a lasting impact on the Fairbanks community.
Karen currently serves as the Secretary for Bread Line’s Board of Directors. A longtime Fairbanksans, Karen is well-known in the community for her dedication to making our town a more vibrant and active place.
Carla Baker is originally from Anchorage and came to Fairbanks for a new experience. In Fairbanks, she moved into the Fairbanks Recovery Residence for women, to continue her life of recovery. While residing there, she volunteered everyday at Interior Alaska Center for Non-Violent Living – where she is now employed.
Carla is also a 2020 graduate of the Bread Line’s Stone’s Throw culinary job training program. Some things Carla is passionate about are helping other women in recovery, giving back to her community wherever she can and working hard to achieve her many goals and dreams. When she’s not working she also enjoys hockey games, fishing, bike rides and making new friendships.
Kristina Miller is trial attorney with the Alaska Public Defender Agency, a mother, an activist and epicure. Her love for good food and big community is reflected in Kristina’s work with the Bread Line, where helping feed people great food brings the best of both worlds together.
Brianna is originally from King Cove, Alaska. Her grandparents are the late Lydia and Ernest William Mack of King Cove; her parents are Dorene Bunch Mack-Bunch and Chris Bunch of North Pole, and Lavelle and Silvia Webb of Seattle. She has two children; Aaliyah and LaCross III. Brianna joined the board because of her values and belief that everyone has the right to access healthy food in an inclusive environment. She enjoys spending her time outdoors gardening, hiking, fishing, and berry picking. She also enjoys a good book and dancing with her children.
Kunaan Julie Smyth
Kunaan was born & raised in Fairbanks, Alaska. As a child, Kunaan’s family utilized the services of the Bread Line & – as an adult – Kunaan found herself food insecure. As she began to heal from these experiences & learn about the social issues of generational poverty, Kunaan began volunteering. After volunteering with the Bread Line for a number of years, they joined the board to further help the community & learn from an organization with a long history of service in Fairbanks. Kunaan also hosts the podcast Caffeine with Kunaan – available on all major listening platforms.
Ileane is an Assistant Public Defender with the Alaska Public Defender Agency. She is based out of Fairbanks and Utqiagvik. When she is not working, Ileane Polis enjoys spending time with her dog, practicing yoga, skiing, or reading.