We do not just talk, but we are acting
The trigger for “brotZeit” was a radio show, in which I heard, Munich had by itself 3000 very hungry school kids.
I could not believe that in such a rich city so much poverty existed.
Dieter Herrmann, a management consultant, Harald Moser, a lawyer and I decided to establish “brotZeit”, to be able to offer these kids breakfast every morning.
The kids come to school half an hour early and have a room where the breakfast is prepared and where they can have breakfast together with their friends.
We started in Munich 2009 with 4 schools. After that, things progressed rapidly. We went to Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig, Duisburg, Nuremberg and Salzgitter and set up “brotZeit” in these cities. We will start soon in Frankfurt and Dresden with 20 schools each. In the moment we help more than 8000 kids in 200 schools with food and other support. We cover around 10 % of schools in need.
Our biggest sponsor is Lidl. The company provided us with 400 tons of fresh food last school year free of charge. The schools order their deliveries fortnightly. We organise the transport with vehicles with refrigeration.
The centrepiece of the project are our senior citizens. They do all the work, prepare the sandwiches, support the kids and are just there for them. This is a special gift, as the kids love the older people. The seniors are happy to have a new purpose in life and to be needed again. They start at 6.30 in the morning at the school and are being financially reimbursed for their efforts, which they can use well. We are very happy about donations from companies and private citizens. Each school costs around 9000 Euros per year. That amounts to approximately 3 Million Euros yearly.
The Christoph Metzelder foundation (“training for life”) does not carry out their own projects with their own personnel. We are looking for existing projects, preferably district facilities, which we support financially with our network.
Judith Dommermuth, who accompanies this unique project as a board member from “Ein Herz für Kinder”, (“A heart for children”) for many years, drew my attention to the great work of “brotZeit” lead by Uschi Glas and Dieter Hermann.
With our support we bear by now the administrative costs of ”brotZeit” and get involved in the board work of this registered society.
I especially want to highlight the commitment of Uschi Glas. The way she lives, drives and contributes to the project is extraordinary.
I have been active in children and youth work for 11 years and got to know a lot of different and great projects during this time. “brotZeit” is unique! Not just because it evolved from a private initiative, but because it is organised like a small social enterprise.
There are many different reasons why far too many children in our country are going to school in the morning, without breakfast. We find this deficiency in all regions and cities and thus in several schools. The nice thing about “brotZeit” is the intergenerational approach. Energetic seniors prepare the breakfast for the children. In the afternoon the boys and girls are getting help with their homework in special projects, additional German classes or courses in sports and chess. And all this in a structure that allows “brotZeit” to scale this offer almost unlimitedly via support regions and with strong partners from the economy and the necessary donations. Meanwhile this project is accompanied by several companies and entrepreneurs. This includes Mad Dabelstein, who has accompanied me and the work of the foundation for over 10 years. Through this cooperation a friendship has emerged. Mad brings people together and just like me he acts out of conviction. Besides the financial aid, he deals with the content of the projects and manages to get other people excited about them. This passion and his social commitment are therefore also part of his corporate philosophy and the brand MarConsult.
I like to be part of projects like “BrotZeit”, because it stabilizes our society and reduces social hardship. We all got a chance at some point and should now help other people to take their chances. I became aware of “brotZeit” through my involvement with the Christoph Metzelder foundation.
After I learned from the initiator of “brotZeit”, Uschi Glas, how many children are going to school without breakfast and also are not supplied with breakfast at the school, I was immediately ready to get involved in “brotZeit”. The missing breakfast has a substantial influence on the learning behavior and the marks of the children and affects the future professional orientation. There are fewer and fewer well educated people in the social und professional environment. Therefore we should help the children, who do not receive the necessary support from home. Companies like Lidl help “brotZeit” with food, logistics and money.
Through my membership in the Business Club Hamburg, the managing director of the BCH, Peter Stoffel and I founded the initiative “entrepreneurs for Hamburg” and secured through the Christoph Metzelder foundation a further financial support for “BrotZeit”. I myself have taken on a sponsorship and will make sure with my contribution, that for the next 3 years this particular school will get all the necessary financial support. Companies or individuals can sponsor schools even small donations help to secure support worthy projects like “brotZeit”.
Important for me is, that we not only talk, but also act! The great feeling of achievement is underlined by the knowledge that I can comprehend what happens with the money.
Recorded by Andreas Nölting