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Rescue Mission struggles to meet growing need

November 22, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
The Union Rescue Mission in downtown Los Angeles made an appeal for food and funds as it tries to feed the homeless this holiday season. While the mission saw a lucky major donation recently, the recession continues to make it a challenge to meet the ever-growing need in the community.Rev. Andy Bales, who runs the Union Rescue Mission said that the local economy has been brutal to the people of Los Angeles. By next month the mission will begin serving a record 5,000 people a day.

Donations are down this year and many of the freezers at the mission have empty shelves. The problem isn't unique to the Union Rescue Mission - the Salvation Army of South L.A. said they had only one turkey to meet the demand of 500 families and the L.A. Food Bank was actually putting chickens in food boxes instead of turkeys.

But then Bales made an appearance on ABC7's "Newsmakers" show. He mentioned that the Union Rescue Mission was down to just a handful of turkeys and a mysterious donor came through.

"Farmer John about three days ago brought us 25,000 pounds of ham. Two hundred turkeys just came in today," said Bales.

Bales said it's a donation that will keep the kitchen cooking for the next several weeks, but it's far from a permanent solution.

"Last year we served 1.3 million meals and this year we are on our way to serving somewhere between 1.4 and 1.5 million," he said.


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