Rescue Mission Food Drive brings in over 90,000 lbs. of food for Water Street Mission

When Uncle Leroy of Uncle Leroy’s Candy Kitchen came to Water Street Mission’s loading dock on Thanksgiving Day 2022 with donated cookies and goodies in hand, Chef Terence Reed (Chef T) was beside himself. 

“I fanned out. I acted like Michael Jackson had pulled up on the dock,” Chef T reminisced. “The level of excitement was on 1000.” 

Uncle Leroy recognized Chef T’s voice from WSM radio spots and immediately shared in his joy.

“It was a special moment for us both, and really showed me how God can use the smallest things in life to create something special.”

Chef T

Rescue Mission Food Drive 2022 (RMFD) successfully raised over 90,000 POUNDS of food through the generosity of individuals, organizations, families, churches, and even special guests like Uncle Leroy and other kind humans of Lancaster County.

We also had several young children under the age of 12 decide to forgo birthday presents and instead ask friends and classmates to bring donations. 

I mean, come on! Talk about something special!

Moments and encounters like these allow us to feel God’s presence in new, breathtaking ways. Even in the seemingly small and every day occurrences. 

In James 1:17, James writes, “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.”

Scripture shows us who the author of these moments is, and we praise Him for His loving faithfulness.

RMFD ran from November 1 through December 22 to combat the increased need for food and shelter in the blistering winter months. This year, RMFD was especially important. Water Street has seen numbers in their Emergency Shelter and in their food outreach programs steadily increase throughout the year, possibly due to inflation and the rising cost of food. Typically, a sharp increase in emergency shelter guests begins in winter, but this year, the increase started during the summer months.

While we didn’t meet our original 100,000-pound goal, we know that God will use every item of food donated in meaningful ways. Each donation will help mitigate the need for the 27,000 hot meals the Mission provides to men, women, and children experiencing homelessness in Lancaster in that time period. Food donations also impact Water Street Mission’s Outreach Center, which distributes 646,000 lbs. of groceries each year to thousands of neighbors in need.

“Groceries or meals at Water Street help our guests realize they are still a part of a loving community, where they can get the services like medical services, counseling, and more they need to get back on their feet again.”

President of Water Street Mission, Jack Crowley

Aside from fulfilling the physical needs that food and groceries alleviate, drives do a lot more to care for people experiencing hardship’s spiritual and emotional needs.

We would like to extend our warmest thank you and gratitude to each and every donation.

About Water Street

Since 1905, Water Street Mission has provided an environment of hope and healing where at-risk men, women, and children in Lancaster County can find help and restoration with God. In addition to food and shelter, all guests have access to medical, dental, behavioral health, spiritual, and career support while on campus. 

For more information about the programs and services of Water Street Mission, visit

Thank you to our sponsors!