Wesley Family Services – RTF
On-Site Feeding Program
Submitted by Stacey Oden
The Mission of Wesley Family Services is to empower children, adults, and families by providing transformational care.
- How have you been affected by hunger?
The Wesley Family Services short term RTF houses adolescents’ age 12-17. Many of these teens come from families who experience hunger problems. While in placement, it’s great that they are able to concentrate on treatment and not worry about going to bed hungry. It’s important for these kids to have kitchen exposure and know what to do with food that comes from places other than fast food restaurants or the corner convenience stores. Combining food bank items and produce right out of the garden is a fun and delicious tool to educate teens about ways to battle hunger!
- How has the Westmoreland County Food Bank impacted your life?
The WCFB is an awesome resource for Wesley Family Services short term RTF. Without the support of the food bank and other community partners, we would struggle to provide food for the teens that come into our 10 bed facility. The food received from WCFB doesn’t just feed, it also teaches. Just last week, residents were able to participate in a life skills cooking activity using items from the food bank combined with peppers from a staff members garden. The teens enjoyed working with frozen bread dough – stretching it, flattening it and watching it raise. Everyone created a personal Stromboli choosing their favorite combination of sausage, cheese, vegetables and sauce.
- What would you tell someone who may be thinking about donating to the Food Bank?
As a cook at Wesley Family Services short term RTF, food bank Day is my favorite day! Because of donations, the Westmoreland County Food Bank gives us the opportunity to feed the kids and make it fun. Bringing back a frozen pizza and cupcakes for a Sunday football party is such an awesome treat for the teens who are staying with us. But realistically, bringing back canned tuna or chicken and a bag of pasta is a great way to show the kids how to make a meal. The WCFB provides food to people who need it. Unfortunately this is a year round need, not just around the holidays. The warehouse houses a lot more than just food; the staff and volunteers are always helpful and willing to go the extra mile to help find items on my wish list. I truly value this community resource and am so thankful for the wonderful opportunities that can come out of a stocked pantry.