12 Days of Giving – Cristo Rey

(WLNS) – Many in our community are going into the holiday season “hungry”.
But with the help of the Greater Lansing Food Bank, which supplies community centers like Cristo Rey in the heart of north Lansing, many families are now able to enjoy well balanced meals.

Joe Garcia, executive director of Cristo Rey Community Center, explains, “You can see relief on people faces what a terrible feeling to not know when your next meal is coming from. What a terrible feeling for a parent not to be able to provide food for their children.”

But thanks to Cristo Rey Community Center, breaking the cycle of poverty is possible through a partnership with the Greater Lansing Food Bank.

Cristo Rey’s pantry is stocked from floor to ceiling. And once a month a family can come in and load up a grocery cart full of food, including canned goods, fruits and veggies, breads and proteins, which they can then take home and prepare.

Last year, Cristo Rey provided more than 314 thousand pounds of food to families in need.
Garcia adds, “In addition to that, we have a community kitchen were we serve 12 thousand meals hot breakfasts and sack lunches .. At Thanksgiving we served 600 meals.”

Cristo Rey also takes care of the community’s homeless.
“We utilize cans like this something easily opened that someone could eat out of the can if they needed to,” says Garcia.

Cristo Rey has a dedicated staff that’s proud of they fact they’re making a difference in people’s lives.
Like Cindi Benavides who’s been helping the less fortunate for more than 2 decades. “They are in tears and they say thank you so much. From a 21-22 year old who’s been out out on the street who has a one or two year old and a 3 month old baby and they come to you to help them. They give you a thank you and a big ole hug that is the most gratifying thing I get.”

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