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LGBT Center of Greater Reading holds second Warm Meal Wednesday

The LGBT Center of Greater Reading held its second Warm Meal Wednesday, opening its doors at 640 Centre Ave. to all in need.

“We started our Warm Meal Wednesday program in response to food insecurity and homelessness in Berks County,” Executive Director Michelle Dech said. “It is part of our mission to remove barriers to access and provide programs and services that meet the current needs of our community.”

About 100 people were served a comforting meal of hot potato soup and turkey sandwiches at the LGBT Center, which rents space from Calvary United Church of Christ in the Centre Park Historic District.

Dech said the LGBT Center’s board of directors and staff did some brainstorming after the January meal and decided they could reach more people by distributing the meals from other area locations or delivering them directly.

Leftover servings of soup and sandwiches were packed after Wednesday’s event and distributed from city locations on Penn Street and in Riverfront Park and at the Inn at Reading, Wyomissing, where some families with young children are living, she said.

An anonymous donor recently stepped forward with the gift of a van, Dech said, which is being used for meal distribution and the delivery of other support services.

“The van has enabled us to meet people where they are,” she said, “and provide the help they need. Our Warm Meal Wednesday program alone has helped us to provide additional support services to those we are meeting, some of whom would never have sought us out for help.”

The LGBT’s Center’s community meals are held at the center on the third Wednesday of each month.

The next event will be March 16 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

For more information or to volunteer, call the LGBT Center of Greater Reading at 484-513-3170.

Volunteer Misha Dolph, left and Ryan Griffin-Silveri, the care coordinator for the LGBT Center of Greater Reading, prepare the serving table for Warm Meal Wednesday. (BEN HASTY Ñ READING EAGLE)
Aaron Rineer, development coordinator for the LGBT Center of Greater Reading, works on a sign directing people to Warm Meal Wednesday. (BEN HASTY – READING EAGLE)
Potato soup and sandwiches at Warm Meal Wednesday. (BEN HASTY – READING EAGLE)

Source: Berkshire mont

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