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Feeding the Hungry

Helping Hands of St. Louis

Helping Hands of St. Louis, a ministry of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Toledo, is located at 443 Sixth St., Toledo, Ohio, serves low-income and homeless families and individuals. The Outreach Center includes a Soup Kitchen, Food Pantry and Clothing Center. Additional services include providing hygiene packs to families and hot showers and hygiene and snack kits to the homeless.

Since 1982, Helping Hands has served more than 1.5 million meals to people in need. An average of 250 meals are now served each day, Monday through Friday, through the generosity of local community members and businesses and through the dedication of our volunteer teams.

Our Mission

The mission of Helping Hands of St. Louis is to provide hot nutritious meals, groceries, clothing, hot showers and other social services for all who come to our doors. We strive to acknowledge the dignity of each and every person by assisting with a smile, an embrace, or a material or a spiritual need.

Our Philosophy

We welcome everyone who comes to our doors for a warm meal. We never ask questions of eligibility, religious affiliation or residency.  We want to provide a refuge for those who have no place to go, who are hungry and looking for someone with whom to talk. We try to stress the importance of the person and the need for human dignity and respect.

Our History

Rev. Robert Armstrong had a dream of serving the poor and disadvantaged in East Toledo.  In January of 1981, Rev. Armstrong’s dream was realized when he, St. Louis parishioners, and a handful of willing volunteers opened their doors and their hearts to those in need.  Beginnings were meager.  The guests were served soup, bread, drink, and maybe a treat once in a while.  From humble beginnings, this St. Louis ministry has grown into a multi-service, social service agency.

Helping Hands of St. Louis is dedicated to serving God’s people by providing a hot nutritious meal and a compassionate ear to all who come to us in need.  Through our ministry of hospitality, we strive to acknowledge the dignity of each person; to foster an atmosphere of courtesy and fellowship: and to provide support in times of material or spiritual need.  Helping Hands of St. Louis serves approximately 80,000 on-site meals on an annual basis.

The soup kitchen, however, is only one piece of the outreach program.  An initiative was begun in the late 1980s to broaden our outreach efforts.  We now provide 3,100 bags of groceries and 650 hygiene kits each year.  In 2011, we opened a clothing and home center, which has served over 6,000 shoppers with free clothing and household items.

Know Someone Who is in Need or Would Like to Volunteer?

Please contact Helping Hands for more information:

Helping Hands of St. Louis
443 Sixth Street, Toledo, OH 43605

Phone: 419-691-0613
Fax: 419-697-4223

Learn How Helping Hands Changes Lives:

Helping Hands of St. Louis needs new rotating groups of volunteers!

Simply Give! donations purchased at Oregon Meijer supports Helping Hands of St. Louis hot meal and pantry programs.

Helping Hands of St. Louis’ 9th Annual Shoe Fest will be Saturday, August 6. “Right now we only have 150 pairs of new shoes to give away, toddler sizes 10 up to youth sizes 8, and we pray more donations will come in,” Shrewsbery adds. “We typically give away over 400 pairs of shoes, so your donations are welcomed! We focus on East Toledo families, but no child will be turned away, if we have their shoe size.”new and gently used children's books are needed.

Donations of children’s backpacks and school supplies such as paper, pencils, pens, markers, crayons, glue sticks, dry-erase markers, hand sanitizer, tissues and Ziploc bags are also welcomed.

Helping Hands of St. Louis Needs Volunteers! On Saturday, May 14 volunteers are needed from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. INSIDE the Clothing Center to assemble new clothing racks and OUTSIDE in our 6th Street Community Garden and Neighborhood Cleanup.

This April, celebrate Keep America Beautiful Month by working to clean up and beautify our communities. There are lots of ways to beautify our world, and together we can keep it that way for generations to come.

TOLEDO—Helping Hands of St. Louis is celebrating Thanksgiving early this year! “We are so blessed!” says Sue Shrewsbery, Director of Helping Hands of St. Louis. She expresses gratitude to the loyal supporters who underwrote the purchase of a new 60-inch commercial stove for the kitchen—and for the team of volunteers from Sheet Metal Workers 33 Local Matt Cherry, Business Representative, arranged to install it.