On May 11, 2022, after a two-year hiatus, a group of over 100 community supporters gathered to celebrate Lancaster County Food Hub’s compassion in action for 75 years at the annual Spring Breakfast. Highlights included:
- Paige McFarling, executive director, discussed the Lancaster County landscape and how LCFH continues to meet the needs of the community with our core services of free food, clothing, and expanded shelter and outreach programs.
- Free food – serve on average 90,000 neighbors directly or through community meals. There is lots of food in Lancaster County, but 10.2% of our neighbors don’t know to have access to food regularly. Working toward identifying where people are hungry, who they are, and where the food services are to determine the best way to fill those gaps to make the greatest impact.
- Free clothing, shoes and accessories – a key resource helping our clients stretch their budgets and direct monies saved to pay rent, utilities, and medical care.
- Free shelter and outreach services – expanded year-round overnight shelter for adult men and women and hotel program for families. Transition Center to help all to navigate and connect with social services to move toward more stable life circumstances.
- We had a fundamental shift to building relationships with our clients and standing beside them as they received food, clothing, shelter, and outreach services.
- Paige spoke about Bev, an unsheltered client. It is because of the compassion shown by the staff that Bev came ‘inside’ to the Transition Center and finally stayed at the overnight shelter after 10 years outside on the streets.
- Our guest speaker, Chris Dreisbach, CEO of Blueprints for Recovery, shared his personal, moving journey from despair to recovery and ultimately gave his gift of charity and hope through the Blueprints program.
- Chris grew up in the suburbs outside of Allentown, PA in a loving family with hard-working parents and all the societal advantages. There was no reason he should have traveled down the path of alcohol and drug addiction.
- “In my mind and heart, I wanted nothing more than to be a good person.” But by age 20 he had been in and out of treatment programs and jail lost hope and wanted to die.
- After jail, he was sent to Gateway halfway house where he had an opportunity to meet “some fine folks who would teach me to live in a different way.. and introduced me to a higher power that dragged me out of the pit that I was in. It allowed me to live the life I live today.”
- In closing, Chris said, “Every single kind and charitable thing you do can have ripple effects that you can never imagine.”
- And this is the one big reason that the Lancaster County Food Hub is building purposeful relationships with its clients and Lancaster County and City social services partners each and every day.
- Terrific food from Wegmans and Doughhead Waffles and a beautiful venue at the Ware Center.
None of this was possible without our sponsors Hagelgans & Veronis, Wegmans, and M&T Bank.
If you weren’t able to attend, you may view the presentation at https://fb.watch/cXDYLoL1da/