2012 Annual Report to Congregations
ast year, the Lutheran Community Services (LCS) Emergency Food Program served more people than ever before – substantially more. In 2011, our food program served 69,369. In 2012, our food program served 86,750. That’s an increase in food clients of 25 percent during 2012. Looking at the figures for all services combined, LCS served a total of 83,812 during 2011. During 2012, the total number served zoomed up to 102,715, and for the first time ever, LCS served over 100,000 people. That is an increase of 18,903 or 23 percent in 2012. This growth is part of a long upward trend. The table below illustrates how demand has grown at our three stationery pantries (Hope, St. Stephens and Zion) in the last 15 years. Keep in mind that these figures represent only 3 of our 13 separate food distribution sites.
Individuals Served at Hope, St. Stephens and Zion LCS Food Pantries (1998-2012)
In addition to meeting the burgeoning demand in a quantitative sense, LCS is also committed to improving the quality of service, in all three core areas – food, housing, and more. In the food area, we concentrated on nutrition, handing out thousands of printed inserts dealing with nutrition on a budget in 2012. We have also held well-attended nutritional seminars which is something that will continue in 2013. Also in 2013, we expect to continue our review of “client choice” options so that people have a role in what foods they receive. In the housing area, we streamlined our procedures dramatically so that while we helped about the same number of people in 2012 as the year before, we interviewed substantially fewer, which saved time and effort for other tasks. We also enhanced our housing follow up activities so that each client receives four follow-up contacts to assure that they are staying housed. Our emphasis on financial literacy continued in 2012 with a goal of helping people prepare to deal with future financial emergencies without jeopardizing their homes.