It makes me uncomfortable and as I drive past I look away. I tell myself that, “I contribute to organizations that fight hunger, advocate for those on the margins and I’ve done my part”. Yet, inside I know it’s not enough. I know I could do more. How do I respond? Usually, I hope that the light remains or turns green as I pass that corner.
I pass “Guitar man” (corner of Mt. Hope and Pennsylvania), now in a wheelchair and leg brace, he strums in rain, snow, and howling wind for whatever people throw in his bucket. I really have no idea what he plays or sings, but he is out there trying to keep warm and make enough to survive another day.
I see others near Frandor dressed as the statue of liberty, a slice of pizza, or other commercial sign standing for hours waving and trying to solicit business. First I wonder about the effectiveness, and then I wonder at the indignity of such costumes, and then I feel compassion for these souls standing trying to make a living.
I am taking a step to deal more directly with these folks. In my new position as Executive Director of the Southside Community Kitchen, I am able to work with community members to feed the hungry, nutritious meals 4 days a week- no questions, no paperwork, no standing in line. Any one desiring a hot meal is welcomed, invited to take a seat, and are served meals by volunteers. No strings, no paperwork, no judgments, no exceptions.
The Southside Community Kitchen is supported financially by individuals, community grants, over 35 area churches and organizations through donations of time, money, and food. In addition, Christ United Methodist Church donates the use of their kitchen and provides pantry area and custodian assistance. Galilee Baptist Church provides an additional dining site two days a week.
Over 100 volunteers, serve throughout the year – many from local churches, making this one of the largest ecumenical efforts in our community. We all come together to alleviate hunger, help our guests stretch their meager budgets, warmly welcome all and build friendships between and among volunteers, guests, congregations, and organizations.
I see hunger everyday in the eyes and faces of our guests here in my neighborhood– Eugene, Dorothy, Allan, Eleana, Arnold. I know that the Southside Community Kitchen makes a difference to the health and well being of our guests – as well as our volunteers.
We invite you to become a partner in our mission to feed the hungry by making a generous donation of money or time to provide meals to Lansing’s hungry people.
We are a 501 (3) © non-profit organization, who for over 25 years have been successfully meeting the needs of hungry people. Make checks payable to: Southside Community Kitchen and mail to: PO Box 80844, Lansing, MI 48908-0844
“Lord, When have we seen you hungry and thirsty and did not help you? “Matthew 25:44
If you would like to learn more about SCK please contact Executive Director, Marcia Beer at
517 375 2977 or visit our website at www.southsidecommunitykitchen.org.