Sharing turkey: New Bethany Ministries celebrates Thanksgiving with community
New Bethany Ministries celebrated a familial Thanksgiving Day with new and returning faces.
New Bethany is a ministry dedicated to providing heart-warming opportunities for the homeless, poor, mentally ill and hungry of the Lehigh Valley. Some opportunities include hot meals, housing, restoration and representative payee programs geared to help individuals toward self-sufficiency.
The need for hot meals in the community calls for an overwhelming need of a stocked pantry. Between the generous community and business donations, New Bethany’s food pantry is stocked for the daily distribution of a hot breakfast and lunch. Those same donations allow for the offering of complete dinners on holidays. Past Thanksgiving dinners have collectively included the distribution of thousands of turkeys.
“With just 13 full-time and five part-time employees on staff and over 850 volunteers volunteering over 10,000 hours, we were able to affect roughly 7,000 families this year,” said Kate Cohen, director of development and communications.
Raymond Rodriguez, who runs the food pantry and is a passionate 16-year advocate for New Bethany adds, “This year 458 turkeys were given away and served along with enough fixings for leftovers.”
A line of volunteers formed behind the counter to serve turkey, stuffing, corn, soup, salad, stuffing, drinks and baked goods. The faces of those feasting on the provided meal left the members of the ministry with enormous grins.
Year-round, New Bethany accepts canned and boxed foods, personal care, household items, and clothing to help those in need of extra assistance.