Most of us have dieted at some time in our lives. Remember how deprived we felt, just cutting back or changing some of our eating habits? Now, imagine if you had no choice. You could count on only one meal a day, And you had to hope it would be enough to fill you up and keep you going until the next day.
That's what it is like for the homeless who come to Burbank Temporary Aid Center for thier daily sack lunches. We try to have a hearty sandwich, fruit, beverage, something sweet, as well as salty. But with your funds, we can add in some extras to help stave off the hunger pangs.
Sometimes it is as simple as adding a few granola bars or some fresh fruit. But we would really like to add in an extra sandwich, too. So, your donation helps make that possible.
Every day, we hear the words of thanks as lunches are distributed. But that thanks is also for you. For your caring touches lives every day.
Thanks for your support.
Each summer, BTAC experinces an interesting shift. The number of daily sack lunches being requested can more than double. Why? Because school is out.
You'd be surprised how many homeless families are in the Burbank area. During the school year, the kids in these families take advantage of the Federal Free and Reduced Cost breakfast and lunch programs. But when that final school bell rings, that all changes. The parents now rely on BTAC's daily sack lunch to feed their children, as well as themselves.
Consider how it might feel to be a parent in this situation. Three or more family members sleeping in thier car, tkaing showers and doing your laundry at BTAC. standing in lne to pick up your daily lunches, having your mail delivered there, too. You are desperately trying to hold things together. The kids are in school, but trying to not show they are homeless. At least you know they won't go hungry because of the school's subsidised meals. Then, summer comes and for three months, you have to depend on BTAC lunches - often the only meal of the day.
Most of us, myself included, usually picture a middle aged man when someone mentions "homeless". But in reality that picture includes women, couples and, yes . . . . families with children. Through your support of the Homeless Lunches, BTAC will be able to meet the increased need experienced during the summer months.
Thank you for your support.
Each morning around 8:00 a.m., the homeless begin gathering outside of Burbank Temporary Aid Center (BTAC). BTAC won't open for another hour and sack lunches won't be distributed until 10:30 a.m.. As 10:30 nears, the line grows. It snakes down the block and around the corner as more and more homeless arrive. By noon, the line will have disappeard, but more than 100 lunches will have been given out by BTAC and its workforce of volunteers.
Many times, area churches make the lunches. But as word has spread about BTAC's lunch prograrm, sometimes there aren't enough. That is where you come in. Your contribution allows BTAC to purchase items for the lunches. Not just chips and sweets, but tuna, chicken and meats to help make the lunches more filling and healthful.
On occasion, I have heard criticism about our wanting to provide better food options. "Beggars can't be choosers!", is a favorite retort. My response is that it doesn't matter. They may be homeless, but deserve respect and care.
Your contribution to this program shows that respect and care. We may not be able to change thier circumstances, but we can fill thier bodies with foods we, ourselves, would want to eat.
Thank you for your support.
Each day at about 10 a.m., a group of homeless folks begin to gather in front of Burbank Temporary Aid Center (BTAC). Slowly, the gathering evolves in to a line, extending around the corner. This friendly gathering has become a visual reminder of how many people are homeless in the Burbank commnity, and how BTAC is the place they turn for help.
At 10:30 a.m., the door to BTAC's pantry opens up. One by one, each person in line recieves a sack lunch and his/her choice of a variety of fruits, salads, pizza, sweets, etc. Each one is greeted by name, with a smile. Food is not the only thing important for a person's well-being. Sometimes the kind word and smile athat accompanies the food is just as important.
The funds donated for this project ensure that BTAC can provide that daily sustenance. This lunch will often be their only meal for the day. So we try to include plenty of items - fruit, something sweet and something salty, a bottle of water and at least one sandwich. Your monetary donations, coupled food donations, ensure the lunches are hearty and tasty.
Over the past several years, along with the increased need for services, Burbank Temporary Aid Center staff and volunteers have also seen a decline in the number of organizations serving the homeless.
The homeless in the Burbank community have gone from being able have a hot meal at the local (now closed) soup kitchen and then getting a sack lunch from BTAC, to only having the sack lunch. How many of us would be happy with only one meal per day?
With your help, BTAC has been able to purchase additional items for the lunches, to help them last longer and be more filling. At the same time, our Pantry Manager tries to find affordable yet healthful items, such as fresh fruits and veggies, non-carbonated beverages, etc.
These additional items are especially important for the weekends, when BTAC is closed. We try to 'beef up' our lunches with extra items that will help our homeless friends for a few extra days.
A sack lunch may seem rather simple, but when it is your only meal for the entire day, it is a treasure. And each day, BTAC provides more than 75 of these treasured lunches. Thank you for helping provide these lunches, by sharing of your own personal 'treasure.
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