“Saint Vincent’s bread” is the name of the new program of the Haven House in Rijeka, i.e. the range of food products created by bread processing – in the social enterprise program of Depaul Croatia.
In the words of Sr. Veronika Mila Popić, the manager of the Haven House and CEO of Depaul Croatia, the goal of this manufactory is to activate the clients of this charity, the homeless and the long-term unemployed who are on the margins of society due to various life circumstances.
It is no coincidence that the focus of the project is a food product that includes bread, says Sr. Veronika, adding that St. Vincent gave regularly bread and soup to the homeless and the poor. In addition, the bread symbolises goodness, love, hospitality, blessing, and especially to us Christians that Bread which is the Body of Jesus – which gives man both bodily and spiritual life.
Product of toasted bread cubes (crouton) which includes the program “St. Vincent’s Bread” was designed by Ivana Šain, an employee of Depaul Croatia, a sanitary engineer and food technologist by profession. “Since we receive larger quantities of bread, we also use them in the production of crunchy flavoured croutons of various flavors. We make them with olive oil and they are enriched with spices.” Šain adds that the emphasis in production is placed on quality, not quantity, and that the product is the result of the work of clients and volunteers under Ivana’s professional supervision.
With the desire to help people in need holistically, the second part of the Depaul Croatia social entrepreneurship program is the program “Lending hands” which also aims to activate users. “Love God, but let it be in the sweat of your brow and the work of your hands,” said St. Vincent de Paul. This is what we do in the Haven House – Depaul Croatia. We want to encourage clients to strengthen their work habits that have weakened due to their various life circumstances, and with this program they, together with us, are helping the operation of the Haven House.”, says Sr. Veronika. She explains that these are less demanding jobs such as landscaping, stacking wood, mowing, cleaning and the like. These are jobs that help them on their path to resocialisation and return to the labor market. Along the way – by providing services – they are available to the citizens of Rijeka and the surrounding area to whom they will go on call and provide some of these services.