Mothers with young children come to our center. Their food stamps don’t enable the family to buy enough groceries to last the month. That’s when LSS steps in and makes up the difference. Sometimes our pantry is their last option.
One single mom with five children works on a food truck. She leaves home every day at 3:30 AM, and sets the alarm on her cell phone so she can call her children, and make sure they get to school on time. Our pantry is closed when she gets off work, but a volunteer waits until she arrives for the groceries she and her children need. For LSS, the “emergency” in emergency services is sometimes as simple as keeping the door open until our client arrives.
A teacher received a pink slip from the school district, and for two years, he and his family lived in a motor home. They came to LSS for groceries each week.
A young graduate student, who interned with LSS as a case manager, surprised the staff when she shared that her initial experience with Lutheran Social Services was not at the professional level. She first came to our pantry because there was no food in her cabinet, and no money in her wallet.
Currently, we see more college students at our pantry and clothes closet. Students from area universities, especially Pierce College and CSUN, attend classes like everybody else on campus. But these young women and men are homeless. They live in their cars, shower in the school gymnasium, and then come to LSS for something to eat. They want an education, but they can’t get it without help obtaining food on a regular basis. This is a new trend that continues to expand.
There are many faces to poverty. Every client has a story. Regardless of why they come to us, Lutheran Social Services is ready to embrace them in their need, to equip them in every possible way, and to support them as they learn how to empower their lives, and fulfill their dreams.