A massive semi-trucked loaded with 24 pallets of food rolled up to our emergency warehouse in Waterford Thursday and the timing could not have been better. Since the start of the pandemic, for almost two straight years, Lighthouse has been providing emergency food to nearly 5,000 people per week, but inventory is currently at an all-time low. Or at least it was, until that truck arrived from nearly 2,000 miles away in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“Thanks to this generous donation from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it looks like the shipment will provide six weeks of food for the people we serve,” said Lighthouse CEO Ryan Hertz.
It’s a welcome relief at a time when the pandemic continues to have lingering effect on local families. Lighthouse, which helps fight homelessness and poverty by providing food, shelter, transitional housing, affordable housing developments and other services, has pivoted and expanded to accommodate the local community’s needs due to COVID-19.
“People think the pandemic is over and it is not,” said Tarra Mitchell, emergency food and volunteer support manager for Lighthouse. “At Lighthouse, boy oh boy, we’re seeing it.”
Mitchell is a member of the Mormon church. She worked to help Lighthouse receive the massive donation. The truck was packed with everything from beef stew and green beans to spaghetti, peaches, mac and cheese, cereal and jam, shelf-stable food that will go a long way for local families.
Among those on hand to welcome the delivery was Lighthouse’s new Director of Food Programs, Russell Estill. Russell spent nearly 17 years with Focus: HOPE, including 7+ years managing the organization’s food centers. He will lead daily operations and provide overall strategy for Lighthouse’s food distribution efforts.
“Although we’ve received a lot of donations from our partners throughout the pandemic, we’re still struggling to keep up with the demand,” he said. “Food insecurity is a major problem in our community. We welcome this donation and we’re grateful.”
Right now, there are more than 100 families on a waiting list for emergency food. If you’d like to help out, click on the link below. Thank you for your continued support.