- I am passionate about fighting to end childhood hunger in America and have been looking for a way to get more involved locally.
- Dennis was representing Lazarus House, which, at the time, I understood to be a local food pantry. (Boy was I wrong!)
Our tour began at Lazarus House, a shelter located in the Arlinton District of Lawrence, MA. The house, opened in 1983, provides homeless families and individuals food, a bed and a roof over their heads. But the home doesn't stop there. They provide people with the resources to create a life for themselves, in fact they insist on it. The folks behind Lazarus House understand that good people land in unfortunate situations, but they also know that a hand out can only get someone so far...what people really need is a hand up. By providing the residents of the shelter with things like daycare, educational classes, job assistance, money management...the list really goes on and on...and on, they allow the residence to focus on something that will benefit them more than a simple handout, bulding a future. Curious what the success rate of building that future is? 92%
Part of Lazarus House's programs is St. Martha's Food Pantry. Their goal?
" To provide food to anyone who is hungry and comes to our door. To eliminate hunger within our community so that people are better able to face their other daily challenges - sustaining housing, paying rent, pursuing jobs, and completing educations."
Here, people can come on Wednesdays and receive a bag containing up to 4 days worth of food. Bagged luches are also available. So, how many families does St. Martha's Pantry provide food to during an average week? As Dennis says, the number has gone up (as you can imagine in this economy) to approximately 600 families per week....a staggering number.
Another food program offered by Lazarus House is Good Shephard Soup Kitchen. Monday through Friday between May-October and 7 days a week from November-April, a continental breakfast and hot lunch are served. This kitchen is open to the public and the food that is provided is obtained exclusively through donations!
You can also find a Lazarus House Soup Truck on Friday and Saturday nights handing out food, blankets, gloves and hats durning the months of January, February and March.
In all, Lazarus House's food prgrams help to feed approximately 8000 people a month...
My blog could very quickly become a novel with all the amazing things I learned today. What I can say for certain is that I look forward to volunteering for this organization. I look forward to participating in their events. And I hope that they continue to be the anchor in the lives of so many people in this community. If you live in my area (The Merrimack Valley) please, please, please set up a tour! This tour gave me such an honest grasp of what this organization does for so many people and how much their organization is really needed.
Thank you so, so very much for reading! ~ Michele :)
Lazarus House Ministries