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Outreach Ministries now in busiest time of year

For 18 years, the Brookhaven Outreach Ministries food pantry hasserved the citizens of Lincoln and surrounding counties.

So when founder the Rev. Jerry Durr predicts a busy holidayseason, he may know what he’s talking about.

“We served 419 people in November alone, and it’s going to getbusier,” he said. “October through December are our busiest times,with December the busiest in the period.”

Brookhaven Outreach Ministries Ministries is one of three localfood pantries which will benefit from community charitable effortsthrough the Holiday Food Pantry Fund established by The DAILYLEADER and the Bank of Brookhaven.

Money raised during the campaign will aid food pantries at St.Francis of Assisi/St. Vincent DePaul Ministries, Union Hall BaptistChurch and Brookhaven Outreach Ministries.

Donations to the Holiday Food Pantry Fund may be made by anyone.Donations will be recognized daily in the newspaper. They can bemade in honor of a friend or loved one or can be madeanonymously.

Checks to the fund should be made payable to the Holiday FoodPantry Fund and will be accepted at either the bank’s BrookwayBoulevard location or at the newspaper office on North RailroadAvenue.

“It helps us tremendously, especially with replacing food andgetting it out to where it’s needed,” Durr said about the foodpantry help.

Brookhaven Outreach Ministries also includes hygiene supplieswith each pickup of groceries. Other items, such as blankets anddishes, can also be included when the client can show a need, hesaid.

Debra Baldauf and Patricia Lugo counted the ministry as one ofseveral blessings they’ve received this year while accepting freegroceries Thursday. Lugo also received dishes and a few otherhousehold items to help her and her family through a rough periodin their lives.

“It’s been a rough two years,” she said. “You guys do make adifference.”

Lugo and her family moved to Brookhaven about two weeks agoafter a series of tragic circumstances left them reeling inIndiana.

Her husband was recently in a work-related accident that hasleft him with chronic back pain and her daughter has recentlyemerged from a coma. More difficulties piled on when Lugo herselfwas injured in a car accident a few weeks ago.

Baldauf convinced her son and daughter-in-law to come toBrookhaven and start fresh.

Baldauf has also had some recent difficulties. Thursday was hersecond visit to the ministry in a year.

“I love it,” she said. “They’re here when you need them. But Itry not to visit too often. Other people need help, too.”

This year alone, from January to November, Durr said the foodpantry at Brookhaven Outreach Ministries has distributed nearly 27tons of food to area residents.

“We’ll probably give out a third of that again between now andthe end of December,” he said. “A lot of people are running shortand we’re just trying to meet that need.”

The Holiday Food Pantry Fund was created in 2003 and raised morethan $7,800 in contributions from 76 individuals or businesses.More than $5,000 was raised in 2004. The 2005 campaign wascanceled, however, after Hurricane Katrina ripped through Louisianaand Mississippi and caused extensive damage throughout thestate.