On a cold December day, men, women and a few toddlers filtered into the dining room at Lebanon County Christian Ministries, pausing momentarily as a volunteer from Cornwall United Methodist Church said a prayer.
Among those in the crowd that day was Shane, a regular in the winter months, who grabbed a tray and was served lasagna, salad and a piece of apple pie by volunteers.
He sat down at a table as he greeted acquaintances and friends he’s made over the last five years and began eating.
As a seasonal worker, Shane collects unemployment over the winter months and is grateful for LCCM’s free noon meal, which helps him save money.
“It helps me a great deal because food is so expensive. I live alone, so for me, it works out. Last night I made hot dogs and mashed potatoes – something cheap. (The noon meal helps) because instead of buying two meals a day, I only have to buy one,” he said. “I mean, even buying cleaning supplies in stores like paper towers, Dawn and soap, and all that – it all adds up.”
Shane was just one of 119 people who ate at the free noon meal that day, a staple of LCCM’s operations and overall mission. Hundreds of volunteers from churches and community groups prepare and serve meals each year daily, whether at LCCM’s dining room or at other partnering churches.
In the last fiscal year, 47,180 meals were served, which equals roughly 130 meals daily. Some days, LCCM serves as many as 170 guests. It’s just one of several programs LCCM facilitates to address food insecurity in Lebanon County. Food insecurity describes a household’s inability to provide enough food for every person to live an active, healthy life.
The food insecurity rate in Lebanon County is 9.1 percent – that’s an estimated 12,480 people, according to Feeding America.
By making a $50 donation to LCCM, you can provide 25 nutritious meals for people like Shane this Christmas season.