Open Hands toward the Poor

“There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.”
– Deuteronomy 15:11



Lafayette’s population of those below the poverty line increases constantly. Many people are working less, or not at all. According to a recent census taken by the Journal and Courier, child poverty is up 42% over the past ten years. Single parent households continue to increase. Minimum wage incomes are not sufficient to provide for most families’ needs. Especially hard hit are older people and the disabled who are trying to live on a fixed income.

Elmwood’s concern for those in need is expressed in many of ways. Our Food Pantry is open three days a week for a total of five hours. In 2004 we served 2,015 families including 3,763 adults and 2439 children, for a total of 6,202 people served. On the way out, one of our guests was heard to say, “How nice you let us select our own groceries!”

Many of Elmwood’s families are involved in operating the food pantry including those who work regularly throughout the month and others who assist with purchasing, loading, and sorting.

Each month Elmwood members serve meals at the Lafayette Urban Ministry Homeless Shelter. Up to 50 homeless men and women are recipients of these hot, personally prepared and served meals. The word at LUM is out that on the nights the meals are furnished by Elmwood members, the fare will be tasty and plentiful!