(Update: Adding video, comments)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- As cooler days and chilly nights set in across the High Desert, dozens of homeless people are filling up Bend's new year-round shelter, and the operators need help feeding them.
Shepherd’s House Ministries said Thursday it is in critical need of donated meals to provide for the dozens of homeless that come each night to their emergency shelter on Second Street.
"There may come a time when a guests comes in here after having been out in the street all day, and we may have to say, 'We're sorry -- we don't have a meal tonight,'" warned John Lodise, the director of emergency services for Shepherd's House.
Since the extended year-round opening of shelter services in June, the Second Street location is now operating seven days a week year-round, which has caused a significant influx of regular guests accessing the shelter. Their 70-bed facility is now filled to capacity each night, causing a greater need for volunteer dinner and breakfast service.
"We're basically scraping by," Loside told NewsChannel 21. "As we see gaps in the meal train, we make a lot of trips to Costco. We are just finding ways to improvise."
The Shepherd's House depends on the community for food, but Lodise said that without help, they might have to limit capacity, or even skip meals.
That's a scary thought for Lani Gibson, who's been homeless for three years, and sleeps there every night with her seven-year-old pug.
"If that was taken away from them, then I don't know what they'd have to count on," Gibson said. "They would have a bed, a warm place to sleep, but everybody needs at least one meal a day."
The Shepherd's House needs help to make that happen.
"They could adopt a day of the month," Lodise suggested. "They could take the third Wednesday, they could take the second Saturday of every month and just provide a meal every 30 days. If we have enough people do that, we'll fill all of our gaps."
Individuals, churches, community organizations, businesses, families, and neighborhood groups are encouraged to participate by signing up to help serve a nutritious meal to our neighbors experiencing the hardship of homelessness. Your help in serving and spreading the word is greatly appreciated.
For more information, contact Lodise at: email@example.com
Meal Train Link: BendShelterFood.org
You can also make a monetary donation to support this meal service at: