Niagara Gazette

Local News

November 19, 2012

One thousand to be served

Niagara Gazette — There won't be a soul in Niagara Falls that goes unfed this Thanksgiving if the volunteers from the Niagara Gospel Rescue Mission have anything to say about it.

The 2-year-old Ferry Avenue mission, which fed about 600 with home-delivered meals last Thanksgiving, has upped the ante to 1,000 this year, and volunteers from churches around the region are joining the effort once again.

The little mission, which opened at 1023 Ferry Ave. as a homeless shelter for men, has a squadron of cooks and delivery staff at the ready for Thursday's effort. If the day goes anything like last year, the delivery makers will find some of their "guests" waiting at home with a table set for one.

"Last year we heard from our delivery people that they were told by so many 'you are the only person I'm going to see all day,' " said Janet Scott, who is directing "Feed the Falls."

Such an event doesn't go on without major orchestration. 

Thus far, the volunteers have gathered for the cooking and carving of 50 turkeys at The Chapel in Amherst. On Wednesday, there will be a pie-making "party" at Niagara Community Church, 10500 Cayuga Dr., and on Thanksgiving, the hot meals will be assembled at Assembly of God on Niagara Falls Boulevard. 

"We're serving not only physical food but spiritual food," said Shaun Smith, founder and volunteer director of the Niagara Gospel Mission, noting that each dinner comes with a child-made card in the shape of a turkey with a line from scripture written upon it. 

For those who are surprised to learn of the Niagara Gospel Mission, Smith said that the 13-bed mission has been flying under the radar for the past six years, since he received the "vision" to open the place.

It began in October 2006, when he had planned to join a group of people meeting the director of the Buffalo City Mission to discuss the needs of the homeless in Niagara Falls, but as it happened, he was the only one able to attend.  

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