Move over Perkins and IHOP. Here comes Metro Lutheran Ministry.
MLM is entering its third year of operating Saturday breakfast programs in Kansas City, Mo., and approaching its first anniversary in Kansas City, Kan.
With MLM providing supplies for the hot meals and a small army of volunteers providing the labor, the program that began as a way to fill a gap for homeless and needy residents has helped nearly 11,000 people over the past 12 months.
"Seeing the need is what sticks with you," said Jim Glynn, MLM executive director. "Many of our guests have spent the night in the cold, and they are extremely grateful for a hot meal."
MLM served 8,602 people during 2012 at the three-year-old Missouri location, 719 E. 31st St. The breakfast that began in April at 722 Reynolds, Kansas City, Kan., served 2,013 people.
The individuals and families include a wide range, with children and elderly, families and individuals among those who take advantage of the offering.
The effort is significant for other reasons. Although MLM programs serve tens of thousands of metropolitan area residents from its locations in Jackson, Clay and Wyandotte counties, its full-time staff is less than 15. Efforts such as the breakfast ministry are possible because every Saturday, volunteers arrive on time and ready to work--even if it's below freezing at 6 a.m. on a Saturday.
“It's really moving," said Suzanne Bartling, director of Outreach Ministry. "We have so many good people show up and we couldn't do this without them."
Metro Lutheran Ministry serves homeless youth and adults, senior citizens and families throughout the metropolitan area. For more information, call 816-931-0027 or visit www.mlmkc.org.
- Story from Dale Garrison