ENSIGN, Kan (KSNW) – It started as an idea last August. Now, it’s grown into an initiative that is bringing much-needed joy to communities in need.

Shea Charles wanted to teach the spirit of volunteering to her two daughters, and when COVID-19 shut down volunteer opportunities, the family took it upon themselves to share kindness and love through cooking.

The three women call themselves the Breaking Bread Crew. The project started small, giving one meal a week to a family in need.

“Then, I was like well we can do more so we did two, three, five, and then we were getting messages for more,” said mother, Shea Charles of the Breaking Bread Crew.

Every week the Charles family volunteers their time cooking and providing free, home-cooked meals to people in need. The women give away dozens of meals to those who are sick, elderly, or may be struggling financially.

Anyone who may need a meal, the Charles’ want to help.

“It just feels amazing to put a smile on somebody’s face and give them a meal that, it may not last long but that’s still a meal that helped them out,” said daughter, Haelyn Charles of the Breaking Bread Crew.

The community has jumped on board, helping the women with expenses through donations. Whatever the crew doesn’t get in donations, they pick up the tab.

Shea Charles says it’s less about them and more about unity in the community.

“It really is so much bigger than us. We could not do what we do without the community. I mean, honestly. They are the reason why we are able to do this. Without their support, we would not be able to reach all those people,” said Shea.

They have touched hundreds of lives in several surrounding communities, delivering meals as far as 60 miles away.

“It makes me feel good because I don’t think they realize how much I need them. They’ve blessed me so much through helping others,” said Shea.

They say the reward is about seeing acts of kindness light up others lives.

“When you do find kindness, some of it’s not genuine, it’s fake, but when you do find it, real, it’s amazing,” said daughter, Madilyn Charles of the Breaking Bread Crew.

The crew says every person that is given a meal, their information is kept 100% confidential. They say they hope to continue serving for as long as they are needed and that their actions create a domino effect in the community. 

As of now, the women have provided nearly 1,000 total meals.