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Give a helping hand

Posted: September 2, 2011 9:08 a.m.
Updated: September 5, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Recently I visited a former co-worker of some 30-plus years in a southwest seaport city. During those years we worked together I often leaned on him for information and I believe I became a better person by knowing him.

He was a church (soup kitchen) volunteer. His church was serving its last meals for 500-plus attendance on a daily basis. Many soup kitchens across America are declining or closing down but have seen their regulars increase in this tough economic time.

Many church soup kitchens are having economic problems of their own. Organizers say they are reluctantly shutting them, citing a steady, long-term decline in church contributions.

Many church soup kitchens have been declining finically for a number of years. They are coming to a critical point.

For those who depended on my friend’s soup kitchens for a daily hot meal, the closing will be devastating. The weekly meal helped hold some families over until checks of assistance subsidies came in, causing attendance to peak at the end of the month.

Many went to the soup kitchen as a means of stretching out their food stamps, which tend to dry up at the end of the month.

The decline and closing of this soup kitchen will leave a big hole in the lives of many families, and I am not sure how it will be filled.

This soup kitchens tried to accommodate all their attendance. They were very nice people. They treated the incoming attendance as guests in their home. If you have ever been to a big church dinner, it’s kind of like that. The atmosphere was warm and friendly, and many of the regulars knew each other and the volunteers.

The manager revealed to me she noticed more women and families coming for dinner. “There’s a lot of attendance (who) are not homeless who are living marginally,” she said.

If we all fail our necessary obligation to help the most that need attention, we all fail.


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