On the morning of August 8th, sisters and staff at the Response to Love Center in Buffalo, NY awoke to find their basement flooded with 2 inches of water and sewage. The basement of the center contains both the industrial kitchen and dining room where hot meals and fresh produce are provided to the community. Unable to serve people in such unsanitary conditions, the team immediately jumped into action. Just as Noah started building his ark and looking forward to a rainbow, the team stayed faithful as they determined what to do.
Mops were brought out to soak up the water and prevent further damage to walls and floors, the staff and sisters worked hard to clean the area, but they could not clean it well enough in time for lunch. Thankfully, a smaller kitchen on the top floor was functional. Cooking continued there, and just as in times of harsher Covid restrictions, meals were served outside to the community. After lunch was served, and the smell in the basement did not go away, they knew they needed outside help. Sister Johnice reached out to a disaster restoration company to properly sterilize the entire basement. It was going to cost more than $10,000. They knew this would put a large dent in their food budget.
The sisters discern the needs of the people, and strive to be part of the community they serve. And in the same way, the community reciprocated. Members of the community contacted the media and the flooding was reported on the news. Within a day, thousands of dollars were raised and the center was operational again. God always provides.
The Response to Love Center serves the community in more ways than just a food kitchen and food pantry. Certified teachers educate people in ESL and help them attain their GED, volunteers host cooking workshops featuring items from the food pantry, social workers guide people to immigration and mental health supports needed, and a new modern yoga studio/workout room provides a dignified space for the community to access everything they need. Watch the news story that covered the flood and community’s kindness: https://www.wkbw.com/news/local-news/response-to-love-center-needs-help-cleaning-up-kitchen-after-flood