A new fundraising initiative by Street Life Ministries aims to feed homeless people amid plummeting food donations, while also helping Redwood City restaurants that have stepped up for neighbors in need despite also suffering the pandemic’s impact.
Pre-COVID, Street Life Ministries typically served 40,000 meals per year to homeless people throughout Palo Alto, Redwood City and Menlo Park. The organization drew a sizeable crowd due to their high quality food, much of which was donated by large local companies like Google and Facebook that offer on-campus catering to their employees.
But the onset of the pandemic changed everything.
In the blink of an eye, Street Life Ministries lost 80 percent of its food because the large corporate campuses were empty and there were no more leftovers to donate to the homeless. All the while, homelessness has been on the rise in the community due to the very same reason the food donations dropped off: COVID.
While a fundraiser enabled the ministry to serve pizza and the like during the first six months of the pandemic, that money has dried up.
David Shearin, lead pastor and executive director at Street Life Ministries, turned to the Redwood City Downtown Business Group to see if there was anything they could do to help. In short order, help arrived from local restaurants, even when, they too, were suffering tremendous losses due to COVID. A total of six restaurants—Lutticken’s, Portobello Grill, Talk of Broadway, Quinto Sol, Number 5 Kitchen and Bird Dog—stepped up to offer quality meals to the ministry at a 67 percent discount.
“I’m just really happy that Street Life Ministries is going like it is,” Lutticken’s owner stated in a video by the ministry. “I don’t know who is going to see this video, but anyone who can possibly help Street Life Ministiries…we don’t realize how lucky…I guess I don’t realize how lucky I am.”
Now, Street Life Ministries is appealing to community members to help them “tackle two birds with one stone.” They are hoping local residents can help feed the homeless while also keeping local restaurants afloat by helping to raise $20,000—the equivalent of 3,076 nutritious meals. Concurrently, they hope to keep at least one employee on the payroll of each participating restaurant.
“In a world full of confusion and fear, let’s show our neighbors that they matter. If you are homeless, we are going to try to help. If your business is struggling, we will support you. We have no clue how big of an impact one warm meal will have on someone’s life,” stated Street Life Ministries about the fundraising effort.
To donate to Street Life Ministries and help feed the homeless while supporting local restaurants, click here. Learn more about the fundraising effort here. Questions? Contact the ministry at (650) 241-8865 or firstname.lastname@example.org.