We are indeed fortunate that there are so many agencies in our midst that, day after day and week after week, provide important services, often for people whose lives would be far different if there were no such help.
One such service is LINK, the Lawrence Interdenominational Nutrition Kitchen. The agency draws the spotlight at times such as Thanksgiving and Christmas when special holiday meals are provided for anyone who chooses to turn out, whether for physical or emotional support. But the work of LINK is a year-round venture. It provides meals for many who otherwise would go hungry and could suffer serious health problems due to the lack of nutritious food.
LINK was opened for the public on Valentine’s Day, 1985, serving meals to six people in the basement of the St. John’s Catholic Church. It later moved its kitchen and dining area to the basement of the First Christian Church. Meals are served from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Some of those who benefit from the service may have no other food source in a given week. Many may be homeless.
Anyone who has worked as a volunteer for LINK is fully aware of the need for the service. There is particular satisfaction from serving youngsters who are brought to the meals and whose brightened faces clearly reflect their appreciation for come kind words and warm food.
One of the most notable aspects of the LINK operation is the attitude of the people who make it work. They are kind and caring and not the least bit condescending as they go about their jobs. They are inclined to be far more enriched than the visitors.
Holidays are of particular importance to a number of people in the community who may not need the food they get as much as they desire some type of companionship. Loneliness also creates a terrible hunger. A comment by Herman Leon, vice president of the LINK board of directors, speaks volumes about all this:
“We’re not just for the homeless. We try to treat every guest as you would a guest in your home.”
This applies especially at holiday-time but it also reflects the goals of the food service the year around.
LINK is one of the finest social operations the Lawrence community provides and it is an agency about which many here, clients and preparers, have every reason to be thankful not only at this time of year but 365 days a year.