Niagara Gazette — Need doesn’t exist solely in the homeless community of Niagara County, though. Overall, it’s been a rather typical year throughout many of the region’s charitable organizations, from small operations like the Davis family’s The Lord’s Day Dinner, to the large ones like the Food Bank of Western New York.
The Ashland Avenue-based The Lord’s Day Dinner saw some average numbers walk through the doors of the Seneca Avenue Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 917 for free meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas days, when hundreds are fed by the crews working for Yvonne and Matthew Davis.
What is an average year for the program?
“We had about 350-plus people for Thanksgiving and 450-plus people for Christmas,” Matthew Davis estimated. “That’s a pretty average year for both. But some of that has to do with the weather, too.”
The Lord’s Day Dinner isn’t an every day or every week occurrence. It’s only during special holidays, meaning it’s less reliant on long-term help. Still, Davis said, there is some need. It became especially important after a July rainstorm flooded their basement, effectively destroying much of their supplies just months before their two big meals.
They said the community stepped up in a big way, aiding them in all sorts of ways. Product and monetary donations streamed in while volunteers giving their time these past two holidays made it possible to feed the many less fortunate who stepped foot inside the post looking for some hope.
“Everyone’s been quite helpful,” Davis said. “With the recent flood, the volunteer and community support was tremendous. We’ve had more than enough volunteers who helped out, but all who contributed in some sort of way were kept busy. They all had something to do. Quite frankly, without the support from the community, it would’ve been quite difficult for us, especially this year.”