Westside Apartments/Capri Motel Ministry
The Westside Apartments, located on Westside Road off of Hwy 273,consists of 72 apartment units, only two of which have kitchens. The Capri Motel sits next door and is a 64-unit motel property.
It is between these two facilities that extreme low income families reside. Each apartment/motel is supplied with a mini-refrigerator and a small microwave. Most of the resident’s earnings are from government subsidy and/or minimum wage part-time jobs. The location of the apartments is situated such that it is isolated from most major conveniences and most residents do not own cars.
The youth from the Eagle Soar Youth Activity Center (ESYAC) live at one of these two locations. It came to St. James attention that these youth generally go hungry, especially at the end of the month, when funds have been depleted. Since St. James has been a major contributor for the ESYAC program since 2005, Council agreed that this new outreach ministry is the next step in helping those less fortunate.
The objective is a simple one – provide to those who are less fortunate in Christ’s name.
God's Provisions Backpack Food Program
How can a child focus on solving a math problem or memorizing a new word when she or he is trying to ignore the persistent pangs of hunger?
Across the country, teachers and school nurses have found that in some instances, Monday morning comes and they are forced to compete against hunger for the attention of their students.
St. James Lutheran Church of Redding is restructuring their current monthly, motel ministry food distribution program. After evaluating the program, it was determined to redesign the way we currently distribute the donated food to motel families in order to help meet the nutritional needs of children and families. Each week, volunteers, in cooperation with Eagle Soar Youth Activity Center (ESYAC), will distribute to the ESYAC youth backpacks filled with enough kid friendly, easy to prepare food for the weekends and holidays.
Through research studies, it has been proven that children participating in these type of backpack food programs are impacted in seven key areas: grades, attendance, behavior, health, self esteem, responsibility and social skills. Key findings of the evaluation are:
- Grades improved by as much as 18 percent, especially in English, social studies and science;
- They had 14 percent fewer absences by the end of the school year;
- Participants also had 23 percent fewer tardies;
- Schools report discipline issues among packpack students were cut in half;
- 34 percent of parents say their child's health improved after participating;
- 40 percent of parents say their child's sense of responsibility increased; and
- Teachers say students' social skills greatly improve.
St. James Church is asking for food donations from the suggested list below. Volunteers will collect, sort and place the donated food in the backpacks, which will then be delivered to ESYAC each Thursday. The youth are then required to return the backpacks to ESYAC on Tuesdays in order to have them filled again on Thursday.
Suggested Shopping List
- Peanut Butter (small jar) and a sleeve of crackers
- Peanut Butter/Cheese Cracker Sandwiches
- String Cheese
- Beans and Franks
- Beef stew
- Instant Oatmeal Cereal Packages
- Fruit cups (peaches, applesauce, etc.)
- Vegetable cups (corn, green beans, etc.)
- Snack mixes
- Trail Mixes/Peanuts
- Raisins (snack size boxes)
- Pudding cups
- Juice boxes (apple, orange, or other 100% juice)
- Cereal bars or granola bars
- Canned Macaroni and Cheese, Spaghetti O’s, Raviolis, etc.
- Cup of Noodles
- Fruit Snacks
- Fresh Fruit
- Top Ramen
- Betty Crocker Complete Meals
- Canned Meat (Tuna Fish, Spam, Ham, etc.)
- Toiletries (shampoo, bar soap, toothpaste, feminine products)
If you would like to help volunteer or to learn more about this program, please contact Marlene Woodard at St. James Lutheran Church, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM - 2:30 PM(530) 221-6474.