rusader Feeds the hungry
Vision inspired work, which has outgrown home.
IDDLETOWN - Louella Thompson began a personal crusade in 1987 to feed the hungry the fourth Saturday of every month.
"I had a vision to do that," she said. " I had worried for three years about hungry people and decided to feed them myself."
She started out providing 250 people with carry-out lunches from her home on Yankee Road. Now Thompson and her helpers feed about 600 people a month - still from her home. The most she ever fed at a time was 1, 100.
The next step in Thompson's crusade comes early next year. she plans to go door-to-door soliciting money to complete a two-story brick building started several years ago to house the meals project.
"I'm going to have the building finished in 1995. It has sat unfinished about a year," said Thompson, 69, who is also a beautician.
A total of $150,000 is invested in the building adjacent to Thompson's
How to Donate
Coffee, sugar and other staples are needed on a regular basis, and traditional Thanksgiving foods are needed for a holiday dinners.
A special thank you to all who donate your time or money to help in feed the hunger.
|home, but it's a shell. About $80,000 will get
construction started again, and $120,00 more is needed to finish
it. Former Vice President Dan Quayle visited the building project
in 1989. " I was shocked that he would come to a place I was
getting together," Thompson said. "We have no doubt the
money will come from somewhere. God has said it will be there, and
it will be," said George Darrah of Dayton, Ohio, a member of
Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church near Dayton, which helps Thompson
prepare and serve meals.
"We think Louella is one of the Saints of God. We are sure of it; her faith is that strong," he said.
Donations of food and money cover the average $700 cost of meals each month, Thompson said. She started preparing meals with primarily her own funds but began accepting donations after 250 showed up for the first give away.
She does not accept United Way or any Government funds in order to avoid control over the program.
Volunteer Vi Gin, a former Middletown city commissioner, sees Thompson's dedication.
"Louella has the voice from God within her. Nothing really deters her from her goal." Ginn said. "She never turns anyone away from her door."
Thompson's husband, John, died in February after being ill for several years.
Ginn said Thompson usually stays up all night before the free Saturday meals, served between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Thompson said her vision for her next project is a shelter. She's looking at a lot across the street from her house. "The owner put it up for sale, and I told him he can't do that. No one will be there to buy it until I am ready to buy it," she said.