More Help Needed For The Hungry

Oct 17, 2018

The US economy may be booming, but it's not booming for everyone. One indicator is the meal site in downtown Rock Island run by Christian Care, where attendance is up 19% from the spring and up 7% from the same time a year ago.

Community Outreach Coordinator, Steve Gottcent, says during the second quarter of this year, in the spring, Christian Care served 11,000 meals, but then during the third quarter, in the summer, that total jumped to more than 13,000.

"A lot of times when we think of people who are experiencing homelessness or experiencing poverty, we jump to conclusions about mistakes they've made or addictions they might have. And while sometimes that's true, in other cases, life just threw them a curve ball that they didn't see coming. So it's that reminder, it could be us at some point in time in terms of our need."

Gottcent says there are many possible causes for the increase, but they never ask why, they just serve who-ever shows up.

Hoping to cut down on the time people had to wait to be served, a grant from In From the Cold allowed Christian Care to buy more chairs.

The agency also operates a men's homeless shelter at its headquarters in downtown Rock Island.