Manlius It started when Good Shepherd Lutheran Church invited John and Leigh-Ann Tumino, founders of In My Father’s Kitchen (IMFK), to speak at a forum about their outreach to those living outdoors. They didn’t just feed the audience’s spirit with stories of one-on-one connections made with the homeless—they fed them Nutella-drenched crepes, as well. Dozens from the church left with full bellies along with a commitment to help this small but powerful non-profit organization that feeds people “spirit, soul and body by using food to open the door to people’s hearts.”
The Good Shepherd congregation committed to raising $3,500 so IMFK could renovate the upstairs of a home it purchased on Hawley Avenue to serve as its facility. During the season of Lent, all Good Shepherd offerings were designated for IMFK. By Easter Sunday, Good Shepherd was still short of its goal, so members continued their fundraising by targeting Sunday loose offerings to IMFK along with any additional designated donations. As of mid-May, they were still $700 short, but plan to keep urging the congregation to continue their support until the goal is reached.
IMFK is particularly near and dear to the hearts of those at Good Shepherd because the Tuminos include members of the refugee community on the near north side of Syracuse who need assistance in their outreach. Good Shepherd is active in InterFaith Work’s Center for New Americans (formerly called the “Refugee Resettlement Program.”) The church has adopted a number of families—Burmese, Bosnian, Vietnamese, Sudanese—who arrive in Syracuse with very little, often partnering with First English Lutheran Church where refugees congregate for spiritual and community support.
IMFK’s new facility on Hawley Ave will be a welcome presence to the homeless, and to the Near Northside refugee families, joining other support organizations such as Catholic Charities and Hopeprint.
For more about IMFK, visit inmyfatherskitchen.org.