Bread Day changes at Faith Lutheran Church
Faith Lutheran Church volunteers were told on April 27 that they would no longer be able to pick up bread on Friday mornings for the hungry in Lehigh Acres.
Sources said that the Harry Chapin organization would be taking all the day-old bread early Friday mornings from now on, leaving Faith Lutheran and its hungry residents with one week to make a change of day to Tuesday, if possible.
This leaves an important 30-year service for the citizens of Lehigh Acres essentially shut down, immediately.
Many of the regular volunteers were stunned when they learned of this unannounced decision. Some of the volunteers have been working on the project for more than 15 years.
The Faith Lutheran Bread distribution serves 200-plus families, which translates to about 800 to 1,000 people each week, despite the fact that there are very needy people in Lehigh. The distribution gives many families, not only in Lehigh Acres, but in Immokalee, Clewiston, LaBelle and Alva an opportunity to feed their families with an important staple.
“This casts a pale on this bread service to the needy in Lehigh Acres,” Chuck Emery, the coordinator of the ministry, said. “Where is the bread now going to be delivered? Will Lehigh Acres be out of bread for distribution now? Will we be able to regroup for a possible Tuesday distribution? Will our volunteers be able to shift to a Tuesday morning each week?”
“The church will be able to set aside the availability of the Whisnant Hall for Tuesday mornings if that works for the staff of the bread distribution,” Jim Kreger, spokesperson for Faith Lutheran and the new president of the Community Council of Lehigh Acres, said.
One of the regular volunteers found that Faith Bread Ministry distributed more than 106,000 loaves of bread last year alone.
In the past 30 years, that makes a total of three million loaves of bread for Lehigh residents. Friday has been the distribution day for the entire 30 years.