20 February 2015

It has always been my opinion that the guests who enjoy our three times weekly feeding program (receive much more than a meal.  Friendship, kindness, laughter, warmth, love, and compassion are all on the menu.  However, in the past few years, we have been making connections that provide our guests with even more. 

Once a week, Carol, from Emergency Shelter Services visits our lunch program.  She helps guests to apply for benefits from various agencies, and specializes in helping homeless families find stable housing.  Emergency Shelter Services does not have an office in Niles, so most of our guests would never have a chance to receive her assistance if she wasn't at our lunch program.

Carmen, from Cass Family Clinic, meets with any of our lunch guests who need help applying for health insurance.  There have been a lot of changes to health care, and Carmen helps guests to navigate those murky waters, and apply for benefits that many of them did not know were available.

Margaret, from the Berrien County Health Department, comes toting pamphlets, food samples, and other freebies to help our guests learn how to eat healthy on a budget.  She councils our guests’ one on one about their eating habits, and answers any questions they may have.

"Lunch Bunch" provides so much more than a warm meal.  It brings people together, connects them with much needed services, renews their hope, and gives them a chance to get back on their feet.