Pitching in to Help Out

Community members keep Helping Hands equipped to serve hot meals

With the help of food and financial donations, Helping Hands of St. Louis feeds hundreds of people each day at the soup kitchen and food pantry in East Toledo.

In recent years, the number of clients served at Helping Hands steadily increased due to economic decline.  At the same time, government funding for food assistance dramatically decreased.  But thanks to the generosity of the local community, we remained stocked with meat, bread and vegetables for daily hot meals.

The staff at Helping Hands couldn’t have been more pleased with the extra help from our community.  But the center was soon faced with a new problem.

“There was no place to put donations, and we were getting overwhelmed with frozen meat and vegetables,” says Helping Hands Director, Paul Cook.  “We didn’t want to give it all away because of the need for daily meals.”

Freezer space was not the only problem Helping Hands ran into.  The outreach center’s van needed to be replaced.  Without it, the staff were left without a way to pick up donated food from local grocery stores.

But Helping Hands didn’t have to wait long for assistance.  As has happened so many times before, generous people stepped forward provide what was needed.

With the financial help of Jim Meads and others, Helping Hands of St. Louis expanded their freezer space from 10 x 8 feet to a larger 10 x 22 foot walk-in freezer.

About the same time, Helping Hands received word from Paul Krause and his wife, Carol, that they would be willing to donate their used van.

“Our daughter Gretchen volunteers at Helping Hands, and she became aware of the need for transportation,” Mr. Krause says.

Thanks to the love and care of our “angels,” Helping Hands can continue to be an asset to the East Toledo Community and our clients.

“They have good hearts, and we’re blessed to have their support,” Paul Cook says.  “With their help, we can keep serving 300 to 400 meals a day.”

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