Generous family takes care of the hungry

2018-06-12 06:01
The Lawrence family serves food to needy Eastridge residents twice per week.PHOTO: Samantha Lee

The Lawrence family serves food to needy Eastridge residents twice per week.PHOTO: Samantha Lee

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“Share your food with the poor and you will be blessed for it” (Proverbs 22:9).

This is the motto a local family lives by as they have set out to feed the needy in Eastridge­.

Only a few years ago, unemployment hit the family hard, causing them to almost lose all their belongings.

Relying on soup kitchens themselves, the Lawrence family then decided it was time to uplift themselves by uplifting others and they opened a self-funded kitchen in 2007.

They have since grown from strength to strength and have been blessed beyond measure, says Gregory Lawrence.

The Lawrence family runs the Elshaddai Soup Kitchen and serves food to residents at the Eastridge Community Centre twice per week.

The family-run kitchen sees husband-and-wife team, Gregory and Pastor Shirley Lawrence, along with their daughter and other family members, handling all administration, fundraising, cooking and packaging from their home.

“We cook from our home and then we serve to the people of Eastridge or wherever we are needed,” says Gregory.

“Our institution is governed by human dignity and biblical principles, and three kitchens close by have already closed due to lack of funds.”

With everything being self-funded, Elshaddai also struggles to keep food on the table for more than 500 families twice per week.

Their hope is to also create food parcels for families which include basic food items.

These items include vegetables, bread, fruit, beverages, fish and meat, spices, tinned food and staples such as rice and sugar­.

They also need these donations to make food to feed the families.

The kitchen also accepts donations of clothing, baby blankets, rain gear, shoes and other items.

As both Gregory and Shirley are pensioners, the Lawrence family has high running costs including petrol, maintenance on their old car and electricity.

Their other needs include stationery, office equipment, a freezer and a gas stove.

“Monetary donations are also most welcomed and appreciated as we have high running costs and my wife and I are both pensioners. We do keep financial books for the perusal of Sars and are a registered non-profit organisation,” says Gregory.

V To donate, for more information or to get involved, call Pastor Shirley on 071 931 4925 or 021 396 8148, or Gregory on 078 709 3588. Alternatively, email elshaddaisoupkit­@gmail.com.

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