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Sunday March 14th, my wife, Ella and I made our way over to the ďCome in from the Coldí program at the London Jewish Community Center.

Darlene Guslits headed up the program with a dedicated group of forty volunteers to provide a good lunch to Londoners in need. She and her dedicated group of great cooks spent Saturday night preparing for the guests. As luck would have it the power went out; the meal was prepared in romantic candle light glow till two in the morning.

The gourmet lunch included roast chicken, baked potatoes, an assortment of wraps, barley soup, vegetables, home baked chala, apple juice, coffee and my favorite chocolate chip cookies and fresh oranges.

Darlene had spread the word with Andy Aoudman of radio CJBK that school buses would pick up people up from around the city, At 12.30 the first luncheon guests arrived. There was a vast array of people who came from near and far to line up to sample the food. Residents of the Menís Mission, Womenís Community House, Salvation Army, East London, My Sisterís Place patiently lined up for their food.

Trisha and her 16 month old baby, Dennis Jr. ,enjoyed the chance to get out into the community for lunch. Fred, who had hitch-hiked from Grand Bend, had heard of the good kosher food. Andrea & Melody two young girls from Wilfrid Jury Elementary School came with their parents to enjoy the hot meal.

Most of the people I interviewed had not had breakfast. Duncan and Donna had made their way from Dundas & Lyle to the Center. They had read the sign on Dundas Street. It was their first good meal in two days. Ray & Steve were repeat visitors from last year. The two middle-aged bachelors canít cook but sure appreciated a good meal.

The three hundred guests were asked to fill in a questionnaire. There were a few complaints from the guests. Some joked that they found the overflowing plates too small and many wished that they could come back every Sunday for lunch.

There was an assortment of winter apparel that the guests could choose from. I decided to donate my Novack ski jacket to Todd who had come out into the cold without a coat. Jimmy Agathos had told me of his arrival in Canada on a very cold winter day. A man gave him his leather coat. Jim asked: how he could repay the good deed? The good Samaritan explained that when Jimmy saw a man without a coat he should give him his. What goes around comes around the sages tell us.

Spending the morning helping those in need makes us appreciate what we have. Many of us tend to complain too much and do too little.

Darlene sentiment is: If there is a need we who are most fortunate have a duty to feed and nourish those who are less fortunate.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com