SCRANTON — Dozens of men and women stood in line waiting for a hot meal at the St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen in Scranton on Friday.
For some of them, this was their only meal of the day, giving them a few minutes to chow down and stay warm.
“I come here because it helps me with my lifestyle and everything,” Robert Laird of north Scranton said.
A warm meal every day goes a long way for Stephen Glowatz, a cancer survivor who said he will take what he can get.
“I’m on social security, but I make too much for food stamps so coming here for lunch helps incredibly,” Glowatz said.
St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen isn’t just putting warm meals on the table.
They’re also in the process of collecting donations to help the less fortunate in the area.
“We’re really in need of blankets, and we’re also in need of personal care items particularly socks, and things like deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste,” Monsignor Joseph Kelly said.
Overnight temperatures this week have been below zero, if not below zero in the single digits. So, some churches have opened their doors overnight so people have a place to stay warm.
“I’m very grateful for everything the people of Scranton have done for the homeless people,” John Piecker said.
Piecker has spent the past few weeks at Bethel A.M.E. church in Scranton, one of two emergency shelters.
“They usually give us something to eat when we come in. We can take showers there and wash our clothes there,” John Piecker said.
Officials said they have seen more than 20 people every night looking for a warm place to stay.
Bethel A.M.E. Church and St. Anthony’s Haven have turned into emergency shelters.
Piecker said if it wasn’t for places like these he would still be out in the cold.
“I know the people that don’t stay at the shelter they stay down in the woods. They have a nice little camp site mapped out for them. So I would sleep outside somewhere,” Piecker said.
If you are looking to make a donation, right now the St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen is a drop off location. They can be located at 500 Penn Avenue in Scranton.