For years, John watched as people walked to the free noon meal site at Lebanon County Christian Ministries.
As LCCM’s next door neighbor, John met a lot of people who have walked by his home to get a free meal that helps them save money and feed their families.
John, a native of Lebanon, has worked in Lebanon County for 37 years doing all kinds of work.
“I worked in restaurants, made yard in a yarn factory, worked with saw blades and sharpened them in shops,” he said. “I worked at so many places around Lebanon that I can’t even remember them all.”
Most recently, he worked in a restaurant. But, like a lot of people, he was laid off at the beginning of the pandemic in March.
That’s when he decided to walk across the street and get meals for the first time.
“I’m on welfare for food and my health insurance, but I lost my food card due to the fact that I got unemployment, so I was making too much money,” he said. “I had to come up with food.”
The noon meal provides food for both him and his mother.
“It’s helped me tremendously,” he said. “We just split the noon meal now and the food is all prepared in a way where she can have it because she’s on a special diabetic diet.”
John anticipates he’ll be receiving unemployment through the end of the year but hopes to return to work. Until then, he will continue to rely on the noon meal to help him save money and eat a nutritious lunch.
“It’s a big deal,” he said. “It’s had a very big impact.”