We are dedicated to our community and our desire to be part of the solution to end hunger in our neighborhood. During 2022, we served over 11,000 individuals and over 5000 were children. People continue to experience fall out from COVID-19 and seek help from community mission outposts such as FLH. Since January 2023, over 400 new families have visited for the first time to receive food from the teams of FLH. Our community supports this growth expansion with their donations of food, financial gifts, and volunteer hours. At the beginning of the 2021 school year, we developed a reading enrichment program and tutored children in a local elementary school. The tutoring program continued throughout the 2022-23 school year. Our book mobile program is growing and continues to take hundreds of books into apartment communities for the children to check out on a weekly basis. We have driven into 6 different apartment communities with books, snacks, crafts, and lots of smiles. Our hope is to develop a love for reading in these precious young people. The parents we met during Book Mobile outings expressed a desire to learn English, and so we started ESL classes for them and supplied the books free of charge. This summer we hosted 5 special event days for children and youth. The petting zoo drew 125 young people, and the other events averaged 65 participants. Our 4 field trips offered 25 children some new experiences as they went to Quigley's Clayhouse and a movie theatre for the first time! 40 children received full scholarships for summer day camp experiences. Camp opened the door for many of these children to learn more about themselves and equipped them to become leaders as they go back into the school building. Because of supporters like you, a child can focus more on his/her teacher and less on their stomach - a senior citizen can face the day with joy rather than worry about their next meal - parents won't have to choose between bus fare and bread. We are all connected! What affects one community member ripples out in waves, impacting us all. We are called to give, because, in giving, we find our shared humanity.
With our expanded outreach into the community comes the additional need for more food, more educational supplies, and more volunteers. Community donations of food fill the gap for what we are not able to order through our food bank partners. Financial donations allow us to bargain hunt and send out shoppers to purchase in bulk for community members who are not able to get out and shop. With our growth in numbers of people served comes a need for additional staffing to coordinate the volunteers needed and develop future relationship building programming. We feel a strong need to help educate our community on circumstances, choices, and consequences people face when living in poverty. One way of doing this is to host Cost of Poverty Experiences which allow participants the opportunity to experience real life situations during a powerful 2 hour simulation.
$25 provides supplies for our Book Mobile program and ESL classes.
$50 provides 300 handled grocery bags for Food Distribution. We double bag and use 2000 weekly.
$150 provides a 4 days supply of supplemental groceries for a family of four.
$500 provides 10 rolling shopping carts for Food Distribution members who walk to the Community Center to receive food or send 2 children to summer camp.
$2500 provides a Cost of Poverty Experience hands on simulation based on real life experiences of people living in poverty.
Together, we can invest in our community to fight hunger and feed hope.