Hands Across the Street (HAS) is a mission outreach program of Columbia Presbyterian Church that provides food, clothing and shelter for the less fortunate in the Columbia, PA, area. During the past six summers, HAS has participated in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). This summer, more than 8,400 lunches were provided to children, who often come to the feeding sites with an adult.
Adults do not qualify for the SFSP lunches, but they are hungry, too. This year, with the help of a Synod of the Trinity $1,000 Peacemaking Grant, 3,100 bag lunches were served to the adults accompanying the children as a separate program. There was a need to purchase the food and pay the wages for the food manager for this added feature, which is where the grant money helped out. What follows are excerpts from the HAS newsletter describing the program’s accomplishments in 2018.
Hands Across the Street is a year-round ministry. Each season brings specific needs, but always the basics: food, clothing and shelter. We are a ministry relying on the goodness of donors and volunteers. Without donors and volunteers, we would shrink fast.
In our planning, we include events to rally resources: food drives, a gala with a silent auction and donor partners with churches and businesses. We participate in Lancaster’s Extraordinary Give in November and rely on Central Pennsylvania’s Food Bank along with local groceries and markets to supply commodities. We have a vegetable garden to supplement our meals.
This year was the first year we offered crafts and family time along with lunch. We got crazy with chalk, paint, slime and Play-Doh, and there were tiny, colorful hand prints all over our church. The activities were endless and featured the book ladies and Pastor Dave Powers’ drum circle.
Part-time staff people help with the food and meals, the clothing and the shelter and resources for transitional housing. So, we must meet a payroll. In the end, all of this is possible because of our donors and volunteers. Join us in this effort to provide basis needs for the community of Columbia.
“I want to thank all those who attended, donated and volunteered,” said Lori Flick, Food Services Manager. “What an amazing summer of adventure, new friends and the wonderful gift of sharing God’s love through our work. I am so blessed to have God’s grace to be able to experience such a beautiful spiritual journey with everyone.”