More Than Just Food – Making a Difference in People’s Lives

Joshua Wilcox, Kay Ramsey, and Andrea Clark

Feeding people who don’t have enough money to buy food is certainly an important ministry, but helping these same people obtain health related services is equally beneficial.

Kay Ramsay, Director of the Food Cupboard ministry at Third Presbyterian Church, organized participation in a University of Rochester, grant-funded project, designed to link people to needed medical services and hopefully, thereby, reduce visits to emergency rooms for medical care.

During the month of April, Health Worker (CHW) Andrea Clarke and Intern Joshua Wilcox, from the Center for Community Health, staffed a health Continue reading

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Spreading Warmth

by Susan Vaala

Thermometer showing freezing temperatureIt was one of those really cold days at the end of March.  The temperature hovered around 18 degrees when the Food Cupboard opened its doors that morning and guests crowded in, glad for warmth of the room and the hot coffee.  Volunteers had packed bags of food and lined them up for distribution and arranged the display of “choice items.”  We were ready to go!  Thirty-five people would be served that day. Continue reading

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Wow! 260 Children Fed

Box overflowing with food

On the weekend of December 17th, 2016, 84 families from Third Church delivered meals to 84 families in Rochester’s poorest neighborhoods! Those numbers are impressive, but what do they really mean? They mean that 260 children had a healthy, well-balanced meal at a time of the month when food stamps start to run low. They mean that these families, including 28 headed by single mothers and grandmothers, Continue reading

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Why We Tutor

Tutoring silhouetteTutoring can be a frustrating undertaking.  Between teachers who do not seem to understand the need to fill a volunteers time slot ASAP or the volunteers will go elsewhere, and tutors who do not follow the plan for the student, flack from the school district about when students are being tutored, sometimes it is very hard to find the motivation to do the job.  Continue reading

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Hope for Homeless Families

Graphic of family of 4We hear plenty about poverty in Rochester and with regard to homeless families, our RAIHN program is making a huge difference. RAIHN (Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network) is a network of 42 different faith organizations who collaborate to serve homeless families with children. Some congregations (“host congregations”) open their facilities to house the families for a week, while other congregations (“support congregations”) partner with host congregations and provide volunteers. RAIHN is an affiliate of Family Promise, which has 80 networks in 41 states and has served over 700,000 people since 1988.

It is often difficult for homeless families to find shelter as a group. RAIHN is dedicated to keeping families together while helping them find permanent housing. Continue reading

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Rescued From the Street

by Louis Loggi

Mother and child on the sidewalk

Homeless and on the streets.

A family searches for a place to stay on a cold evening…… sounds like the beginning of a familiar holiday story perhaps, but it is a cold reality for many in Rochester. You can easily picture the scenario:

An unexpected illness or car repair which ruins the limited budget, not enough cash so some bills go unpaid, the scrambling to recover until the next paycheck. Sometimes the scrambling is not enough and families lose their housing.

This is one of the faces of homelessness, albeit not the stereotypical one.

All of these situations create a short term housing crisis for families in Rochester. Continue reading

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‘Raising awareness’ through fair trade Palestinian olive oil


Um Hamza leads the other farmers in her village with a vision of organic agriculture

The Peacemaking Mission Team is offering Palestinian fair trade olive products during coffee hour on December 4. Be sure to come and check out our olive oil, tapenade, and tomato caper spread from One World Goods.

We expect to have a good supply of the ever-popular infused olive oils and other products, great for gift giving!

Our goal is to raise awareness, not to raise funds: all items will be sold at cost to benefit the farmers of the Canaan Fair Trade Association in the West Bank. The Canaan Fair Trade website publishes the profiles for many of the producers of its products, including Um Hamza, who lives near Nablus in the West Bank.

The only woman farmer in her coop, Um Hamza is a woman of conviction who leads the other farmers in her village with vision and commitment to organic agriculture.  You can read about Um Hamza and the other fair trade producers here.

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