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.
Back when I was in grade school, I looked forward to summer break! No more school, homework and cafeteria lunches! I enjoyed spending time with my family as we relaxed and explored new things. Perhaps you have some similar memories.
For many homeless families, the end of the school year can bring a different reaction. Without the subsidized lunch programs, thier children experience even more hunger than before. In our community of Burbank, these families know that Burbank Temporay Aid Center can help.
Each day, the line for daily sack lunches snakes in front of our facility. Sometimes the line stretches down the block and around the corner. Among those waiting for a lunch are parents, who know that this might be their family's one meal for the day.
Most of the lunches are hearty and made with 'love' by community volunteers. But as the need grows, while school is out of session, BTAC often runs low on lunches. It is only through your generous contributions that BTAC can purchase the food necessary to keep up with the need.
Most people don't think of a sack lunch as being very significant. But to someone who knows it might be thier only meal, it is a feast. And you are part of making it happen.
The news media will tell us that the economy is turning around. But those served by Burbank Temporary Aid Center, have yet to feel it.
Each day, the line for lunches snakes along the sidewalk. Men and women, some parents of young children, depend on Burbank Temporary Aid Center for a sack lunch. Although the lunches are filled with sandwiches, chips, beverages, fruit and a sweet treat, it is often the only meal of the day.
There are times when the donated lunches need some "beefing up". Other times, BTAC runs out of lunches, altogether. So, BTAC's Pantry Manager, Edward, heads off to buy food to supplement the donations. Ten years ago, this never happened. But with the growing need of the past six years, it has become too common place.
When you give to support this program, you are truly touching lives in a meaningful way.
Thank you for your contribution.
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