What is Saint Luke's Pantry?
The Saint Luke's Pantry is an outreach program hosted by Saint Luke's Episcopal Church to serve the homeless in the Los Gatos area. The pantry provides food, companionship and clothing to those who need it most.
Who does it help?
The majority of those they serve are LONG time members of a homeless community in Los Gatos and have been coming to their kitchen for MANY years!! Some have fallen upon hard times with no options but to live on the streets. Still others have simply taken the wrong path in life and have lost the ability to help themselves.
What does Saint Luke's pantry do?
St. Luke's Pantry provides nourishment for both the bodies and the souls of those who have no other options. They provide sustenance in the way of hot meals and groceries, but also provide an environment where people can depend upon being treated with dignity and respect. They celebrate birthdays, but have also paid for and conducted funerals for those who have either lost touch with their families or whose families have given up on them.
In addition to providing them with often their ONLY meal of the week, St. Luke's Pantry also provides those in need with a bag of groceries and a shower each week, laundry services once each month, and tents, sleeping bags and clothing as needed. They arrange drivers to doctor and dental appointments, bring in social workers, representatives from the Office of Veteran Affairs, and provide access to mental health and legal services.
What is the goal of St. Luke's Pantry?
While the ultimate goal of St. Luke's Pantry is to get its clients into programs and eventually housed, clients who opt NOT to take advantage of these services, are neither judged nor turned away, but are welcomed each week with open arms and continued hope. St. Luke's has successfully housed 5 of its roughly 20 longtime clients, some of whom had been on the streets for up to 20 years! Although 4 of these clients have been permanently housed for 4 or more years, they consider St. Luke's volunteers and fellow clients family, and show up every Tuesday to share a meal and help out in any way they can!
Who are the Volunteers?
While this Homeless Outreach Program originated at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Los Gatos, its core group of volunteers now includes parishioners of St. Mary's Catholic Church, Shir Hadash, and local members of our community, who personally pay for, prepare and serve our Tuesday meals. In addition, the Church of Latter Day Saints and Los Gatos Rotary contribute to St. Luke's provisions of weekly canned goods and grocery bag items, and assist with holiday meals. Students from Stephanie Lynott's St. Mary's class bring Christmas Stockings filled with sundries, socks, surprises, homemade cookies and their singing voices to St. Luke's annual Christmas celebration where they hand out gifts from clients' wish lists, which Pantry Program volunteers generously provide.Throughout the year, St. Luke's Pantry also encourages junior high and high school students to participate in serving 'the least of their brothers and sisters, 'while at the same time meeting their Community Service required hours.