BOSTON — In a commercial kitchen on Boston’s Portland Street near the TD Garden, a team of young people are preparing hot meals that will soon be delivered to hungry people in our community.
The people prepping and packing the meals, not too long ago, were hungry and homeless themselves.
But thanks to a new youth-led organization called Breaktime and its partnership with Community Work Services, these employees are working and helping others who are walking the same difficult road they recently traveled.
Cameron Corbett is 21 years old.
He has experienced homelessness for five years.
Cameron told me he has been shuffled through seven different high schools and he has grown up fast.
But on Thursday, Cameron was thrilled to be at Breaktime, working, helping to keep fed other young people experiencing homelessness.
“We didn’t put ourselves here,” Cameron told me. “We were put here by other people that wanted nothing to do with us. And that breaks my heart.”
Amina Johnson is another Breaktime worker who has experienced much heartache in the last two years.
You would never know it if you met Amina.
Her happiness is contagious.
Here at Breaktime, she is doing what he loves, helping people.
“It gives me a sense of life and joy when I’m doing this,” Amina said “I’m making meals for people. I’m making sure they get fed.”
When I visited Breaktime, the hundreds of meals being prepared and boxed up were paid for by the Martin Richard Foundation, named for the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombing attacks.
Martin’s sister, Jane Richard, stopped by and handed the co-founders of Breaktime a check for the meals.
And Martin’s mother, Denise Richard, visited with Breaktime’s workers.
Breaktime co-founder Tony Shu said the Richard Family’s contribution is an important message
“Right now our community is facing a crisis unlike anything we’ve ever seen and so seeing someone like the Richard family step up and support causes like Breaktime is very inspiring,” Shu said.
If you would like to support Breaktime, or learn more about the organization’s work, click here.