LCS Food Pantry a Welcoming Place for Food and Fellowship

Published on 10/26/2021
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Jenn Ruebush
Community Outreach Coordinator

While the weather outside remains nice, LCS pantry clients enjoy a little socialization while they wait for their orders. Our building at Baynard Blvd. has a small overhang above the entrance, and the space in the foyer only allows for one person to check in at a time. When it’s hot, rainy, or too cold, clients often wait in their car (if they have one). But for now, the mild fall temperatures allow for more chatting and joking, and that’s a welcome treat for both clients and volunteers.

We set up tables outside to offer any fresh produce, food rescue bakery items, prepared or canned food, and miscellaneous donations that we call “extras.” These can include non food things such as school supplies, gum, books, DVDs, and even holiday decorations. It gives clients something to do while they wait, and it allows us to provide a little something different. One client recently picked up a plastic bead set for her daughter and shared, “She’s going to be so excited!” On the third Friday of the month from April until October, we put out tables of clothing from the Clothing Bank of Delaware.

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Our staff and volunteers appreciate the chance to get to know the people they see on a regular basis. Robert, one of our frequent volunteers, doesn’t miss a chance to joke with anyone who comes his way. Jenn Williams, our Food Pantry Coordinator, listens for special needs and tries her best to help out each individual. They notice if someone doesn’t come or looks sad or unwell. As faces become familiar and we all share a little more of our stories, our relationships become richer and more rewarding.

Tracey Darden, who comes to LCS most Fridays, feels grateful. “Lutheran Community Services has been wonderful to me, my family, and my friends. The folks here are helpful and caring. They always call.” Tracey goes along with Robert’s banter and appreciates how he keeps everyone laughing. She explains, “LCS has been a blessing.” Morgan Williams, our Homelessness Prevention Specialist, also helped Tracey with utilities in the past. Tracey spends much of her time looking out for those in her community. “I visit a friend who is in a hotel and dying of cancer and take him lunch (he loves tuna).” You can tell that she loves people.

When someone new comes to LCS, we reach out and try to help them feel welcome. Food insecurity too often feels shameful, but we are here to let everyone know they are not alone. If you need help, we are here. We provide food, a listening ear, and when we can, assistance to help you move through your struggles and come out stronger. Thank you for letting us be part of your story. We are glad you are part of ours.

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