By Isiah REYES
he Tujunga United Methodist Church continues to help those in need by providing food, clothing and other services.
The Bailey Human Care Center at the church provides food assistance every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lay leader of the church Jim Emery said the help is not only for the homeless, but also for people who are down-and-out and barely make minimum wage and need food.
“By the time many of these people get their car payment or rent [paid] they don’t have any money for food,” said Emery.
The church’s soup kitchen has been available to people for the past two years, but the food cupboard was started in 1983 with a box of canned goods underneath the secretary’s desk. They used to hand out just a few cans to people, but now with food drives by the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and the Post Office, and with the food purchased from the cupboard, bagfulls of food are handed out.
The church also gets food from Trader Joe’s and Vons, such as breads, produce and fresh meats.
“People come in and donate and, if they have an orange tree in their backyard, they will bring in a big bag of oranges and it’s just a good thing,” Emery said. “It’s one of the church’s main missions and it’s fantastic.”
In addition, the San Fernando Rescue Mission brings a mobile truck every week and allows homeless people to take a hot shower. They also bring a team that prepares a hot lunch for anyone in need. Showers are from 10 a.m. to noon with lunch starting at noon.
On Fridays, the church offers Clothes Closet, which allows people to get clothes for free, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“Helping people is what the Lord wants us to do,” said Emery. “As far as the people go, they do appreciate us immensely and it’s just a great thing.”
A couple of years ago, the church estimated that it helped more than 3,500 families and more than 13,000 people.
People are allowed twice a month to come in and get a six-day supply of food. On average there are about 20 to 25 people showing up.
The Tujunga United Methodist Church is located at 9901 Tujunga Canyon Blvd. in Tujunga. It is open every fourth Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon for those who are unable to stop by during normal hours.
Photo by Charly SHELTON