This is a letter to thank many people in the community who work with our group to put food on the tables of local families. Emmaus House of Hospitality is a Lake Zurich charity founded in 1999 to fight local hunger and homelessness. We started by serving 12 guests a hot, nutritious meal on a Sunday night.
We now serve 150 to 300 guests every Sunday night in Valker Hall located in St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church. We also host a Sunday night food pantry after the dinners by making available meat, fish, fruit, vegetables and other food harvested from local retailers.
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These include Trader Joe's, Jewel, Eduardo's Catering, Target, Costco, GFS, Pizza Hut, Old World Bakery and Deerfield Bakery. This food has reached its freshness expiration date but is perfectly good.
Our volunteers pick up the food and transport it to our freezers and refrigerators. During 2012, we will serve about 10,000 meals and make possible many healthy meals in the homes of area families.
The weekly dinners are made possible by collaboration with many local organizations that commit to co-hosting one or more times throughout the year. These groups include: Alpine Chapel, the Village Church of Barrington, Long Grove Community Church, St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Northwest Family Church, The Chapel, Lake Zurich Lions Club, Rotary International, St. Peter United Church of Christ, Strong Men for Christ, Hawthorn Woods Women's Club, Women in Networking, American Legion, St. Francis of Assisi Fraternity, Walgreens Corporate Accounting, and Lake Zurich High School Poms and National Honor Society.
Another part of Emmaus House work is preventing local homelessness. In the past year, we have provided more than $10,000 of funding to pay rents and mortgages for people threatened with losing their homes. This funding gives people more time to get back on their feet financially and to stay in their homes.
One other aspect of our effort to help local families is baby care. Through a very generous grant from Ela Township, Emmaus House distributed about 150,000 diapers and other necessities this year to qualifying Ela Township families.
Doing this work and other projects throughout the year, requires both money and volunteers. We are in need of both. More information is available from www.emmaus-house.org.
Thank you to everyone who helps make life better for many local families. It is an honor to join with you in this special work.
Dana Rzeznik, President, Emmaus House of Hospitality