This week, staff writer Laura Rysz talks with Michele Bannon about the ongoing “Host for a Day” campaign for St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen, Scranton.
Educational and professional background: Earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and psychology with a concentration in public administration from Wilkes University and has been employed with the City of Carbondale since 1994.
Title: Carbondale city clerk
A: A donation of $100 or more from an individual, family, business, community organization or faith-based group can help to sponsor the day’s meal at (St. Francis of Assisi) Kitchen. Each contributor becomes a “host” for a day. Contributors can select a date on which they can designate or memorialize their contribution. The kitchen will recognize the sponsor on our board for that specific day within the facility.
Q: Who is the fundraiser open to?
A: Anyone can participate on any level.Q: How can participants view the virtual celebration?
A: Our friends can view the celebration from the comfort of their home on Wednesday, April 28, at 6 p.m. when we will launch our virtual event. The event will be posted on our Facebook page and website, stfranciskitchen.org.
Q: What is your fundraising goal?
A: “Host for a Day” is our major fundraiser each year. Our fundraising goal for 2021 is $200,100.
Q: How will proceeds be used?
A: Funds will be used for the general operation of the kitchen, purchasing supplies and expanding our outreach. We serve a free, hot, nutritious meal to approximately 250 men, women and children every day. In addition to the traditional daily midday meal, the kitchen also provides an evening meal on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 6 p.m. On Thursdays, the kitchen provides a hot meal to 150 people in the Carbondale area. Before the pandemic closures, we facilitated an outreach program in the Mid Valley on Thursdays similar to the Carbondale area. When restrictions are eased and our volunteers feel safe, we will resume this service.
Q: Do you accept donations year-round?
A: Yes, we accept donations year-round; we encourage it. Donations can be made on our website by visiting stfranciskitchen.org, our Facebook page or by simply mailing your gift to St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen, 500 Penn Ave., Scranton, PA 18509.Q: Why is community support so important to your cause?
A: Our work is steeped in support from the community. Financially, we rely significantly on the generosity of our region to fulfill the mission of St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen. This year more than ever there is a need to ensure people have access to a hot, nutritious meal. With that being said, our sponsors and supporters have not missed a beat. They continue to contribute to the kitchen, assisting us to serve our guests with a spirit of compassion, respect and dignity.
Laura Rysz is the features copy editor and calendar editor at The Times-Tribune and runs the Talk of the Times column, which focuses on local fundraisers and other events. She also writes Chef’s Table that profiles restaurants around the region. Additionally, Laura curates events online on AccessNEPA.com. Laura is involved in the special Mother’s Day edition and curates occasional features Marry Memories and Times Travelers. She is a graduate of Haddonfield Memorial High School, New Jersey, and earned an English professional writing degree with a minor in mass communications from King’s College, Wilkes-Barre. She also earned a certificate in Social Media Marketing from Rutgers Business School. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5228.