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Patricia Lee Lewis: Food and shelter at the center of our lives 

Funviralpark 2 years ago 0 2

The Center for New Americans (CNA) working with Catholic charities to resettle immigrant and refugee individuals and families in Hampshire and Franklin counties is a vital, generous and necessary undertaking whose foundations are safe. It is to provide a safe haven. Northampton’s Manna Community Kitchen staff and volunteers serve members of the underserved community by providing access to nutritious meals and drop-in centers. The Shelter is at the heart of the activities of all three of these great groups of hers. Recently, I was one of about 90 poets he wrote and funded in his CNA 30 poems in November. And from my experience as a volunteer at Mana’s drop-in center, I wrote a series of poems from what came to mind the most. Here is one of the poems:

dining at the table

today for the first time since the pandemic

Mana offers indoor dining

I occasionally volunteer at a drop-in center

For those who do not have a stable place to live

take the names of those waiting

take a shower and hang the laundry

23 people checked in this morning

center test negative

Welcomed by knowledgeable staff

WHY YOU NEED THIS CENTER

If your company needs a hot meal

others who do not judge

we set the real table

napkins, stainless steel tableware

52 units in 52 indoor locations

100 ready-to-serve meals

The pleasure of eating indoors

on a beautiful day

and one man trying to help

who could not think of anything

but someone stole

all the last things he owned

Can you do it

Imagine life with nothing

How to prove your identity

phone book in his tent wallet

sleeping bag and its location

did you camp?

Against St. Mary’s Church

he said and i thought

thank heaven he eats

what clothes to wash today

he is found here to take a shower

maybe some kind of baptism

and share a meal

too many talks

bread and fish

Patricia Lee Lewis

northampton

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