The worst of times tend to bring out the best in people. A worldwide pandemic in 2020 was no exception.
Persons with low income and/or mental illness were no exception to the effects of COVID-19. Some lost their jobs, while others struggled to cope with anxiety and depression. These traits were true for residents of the Laurel Tree Apartment Community.
Laurel Tree is an affordable housing community operated by Housing for Hope, an affiliate of Catholic Charities Community Services. Support services and income-based rents combine to create a comfortable environment for vulnerable people to thrive.
In an effort to reduce food scarcity for residents at Laurel Tree, Resident Services Specialist, Eunice Allen, reached out to LifeBridge at Pure Heart Church for help.
Pure Heart Church joined forces with LifeBridge as a crisis response for Arizonans impacted by COVID-19. It organizes 300 volunteers per week through locations in Glendale and Peoria to provide the following services:
● Emergency food and hygiene products
● Free medical consultations
● Referrals to additional services
● Diapers and baby formula
● Household cleaning products
The partnership came easily, and LifeBridge agreed to provide nonperishable food to the apartment community twice per month. The donation is valued at $600-$1,000 worth of food which supports 46 households (about 300 individuals) every month.
This donation jump started an ongoing, onsite food pantry at Laurel Tree.
Examples of items available to Laurel Tree residents through LifeBridge include canned fruits and vegetables, pasta sauce, and even meat such as chicken, beef and pork.
Many residents of Laurel Tree do not have transportation or cannot travel to the grocery store or other food pantries. Having a food pantry available onsite solves a basic need and is highly regarded.
“Laurel Tree residents and neighboring community members always express their appreciation for the food that they receive,” explains Allen.