Loni Nannini Special to the Arizona Daily Star

The Gospel Rescue Mission will hop into the weekend with “Easter Blessings to Go,” a free in-person banquet and drive-thru food outreach event from 11 am to 2 pm Friday, April 15, at the HS Lopez Family Foundation Center of Opportunity , 4550 S. Palo Verde Road.

“For many people, Easter represents hope for a new beginning, and we’re excited to share that hope with all of our neighbors, especially those who are homeless, hungry or hurting. Everyone is welcome to sit down and join us for a delicious Easter brunch or to drive-thru and get ready-to-heat Easter brunch meals for the entire family, plus a box of much-needed resources that includes nonperishable food, hygiene products and Easter baskets for the kids, ”said Lisa Chastain, CEO of the mission.

Chastain said the Good Friday event expects to serve about 2,500 meals, filling a void in food outreach for the homeless and near-homeless during the spring season.

“There are not a lot of resources available right now, and with the state of the economy, people are putting more money into their gas tanks and into groceries: Everything is more expensive. We always want to be that place of help and hope that keeps people from becoming homeless by helping those on the brink, ”said Chastain.

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“Easter Blessings to Go” also helps promote awareness about services available at the Center of Opportunity, which include shelter and programs for addiction recovery, employment and housing.

“It is important for us to get the word out to people on the streets. In another month or so, they won’t be able to be outside due to the extreme heat. The timing of this Easter outreach is significant not only on its own, but especially in these economic times, ”Chastain said.

In-kind donations of non-perishable food or hygiene products are accepted year-round at the Center of Opportunity. Items needed include canned goods (meat, vegetables and fruit), peanut butter, juice, pasta, rice and beans as well as cases of bottled water and household essentials such as paper towels, toilet paper, hygiene products, cleaning supplies and diapers.

Visit grmtucson.com for more information or to make a monetary donation.

Contact freelance writer Loni Nannini at ninch2@comcast.net

APR 12 (TUE) / 8 AM

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