In The Loop

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Loop Ministries, Creating a Caring Commmunity

Posted: September 6th 2017

Written by Arleen Thaler

My name is John and I am from Georgia. In 1976 I moved to Rochester mostly for my family. While in Rochester I have done food service for about 45 years. I have several master degrees, one in culinary arts, one in human resource management, and one in journalism. I took an early retirement in January 15th after 45 years of working.

I really enjoyed food service but after so many years I was ready to retire before I was 65, giving me time to enjoy being young. I used to play tennis but now I am mostly into genealogy work. I have traced my ancestors on my father’s and mother's side all the way back to 1850. Though there are obstacles in finding the females maiden names, I enjoy doing it. I also do journal writing.

About two years ago I walked by Loop Ministries. As I was passing by, I saw that they were giving food out. After going inside, they also gave out lists of services in Rochester available. Although I do not attend all of the services, I get back so much in return. Every time I come to LOOP the pastor gives me insight for spiritual growth. Every Wednesday once a month they have Food for the Soul, I let the pastor know how much her message helps me

I would say that I am a very religious person even though I grew up in a strict southern baptist family, I changed my religion to Mormon. I haven’t been involved in the mormon church due to some serious medical issues, and some conflicts with other members as a black person being a member of the Mormon church at that time. I am making plans to get back into church. 

The main reason I come to Loop Ministries though is because of the pastor. I get spiritual insight and spiritual growth. She always says something to help me look at the things I am not doing so I can look at the things I need to do and that helps me.. I come here and enjoy the Food for the Soul meal once a month but I get more of a spiritual return.

As far as my life goes, I keep hearing messages of getting my life back the way it was before. That’s why I come here, just to hear the pastor and gain spiritual growth. 

Grateful Guest Gives Back

Posted: February 8th, 2017

Written by Lindsay Gange

On January 23rd, Loop Ministries once again hosted our monthly Food for the Soul Luncheon. Guests were welcomed with adorable snowman centerpieces (made by team of helpers from Lifetime Assistance and our volunteer coordinator, Doris Gaspar) and shared a delicious meal of chicken and vegetables (prepared in advance by chef Mike Otto and served by Carol Thielman and the team). Generous portions of blueberry coffee cake were enjoyed for dessert.

This month’s featured guest is a woman named “Jazzy”. Jazzy is originally from Guam and was flown to the University of Rochester Medical Center from her home for cancer treatment twenty years ago. She survived several different types of cancer and remained in Rochester following her treatment. 

Jazzy has two children who live in Atlanta with their aunt. After careful consideration, she made the difficult and unselfish decision to send her children to Atlanta because she was concerned that they would become involved in gang activity if they remained in Rochester. She is excited for her son to get his driver’s license and looks forward to an upcoming visit from him.

Jazzy is very appreciative of all that Loop does, and is especially happy that she is able to get such a generous bag of groceries from the Food Pantry at every Food for the Soul luncheon. She loves coming every month, and will be giving back to Loop and the luncheon community next month by helping the meal team cook and serve food. We’re grateful for her participation in the Loop family, and for her eagerness to help!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: Who does the Food Program serve?

Posted: December 20th

Written by Daryl Staneck

The Loop Ministries Food Program serves people ranging from childhood through late life. We serve the physically and mentally disabled, U.S. Veterans, and multiple orientations and ethnicities, predominantly African American, Caucasian, and Hispanic. Regarding employment, those who come are unemployed, partially employed, and “under” employed, indicating that a full time job wage does not enable them to provide adequately for their needs.

Last year three quarters of the people we served used the pantry, not as a regular extension of their kitchen cupboards, but only for several months until some emergency was dealt with and they were back on their feet. We, therefore, truly live up to our designation as an “emergency” food pantry. We do not perpetuate people’s comfortability with poverty by encouraging them to live on hand outs. On the contrary, we are a safety net to keep them from entering the welfare system, by giving them a compassionate leg-up when needed.

(Loop Ministries is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization providing groceries and meals to the under-served in some of the most economically challenging areas of Rochester, including zip codes: 14604, 14605, 14607, 14608, 14609, 14614, 14620. The monthly meals are open to anyone residing in Monroe County. Loop Ministries is grateful to the Lutheran Church of the Reformation, located in the heart of the city, for the use of their space to run operations.)

NOvember Food for the soul luncheon

Posted: December 20th

Written by Lindsay Gange

Loop held its monthly Food for the Soul luncheon on Wednesday, November 23rd. Guests were treated to a full Thanksgiving feast, complete with beautiful centerpieces designed by our volunteer coordinator, Doris Gaspar. Loop is very grateful for the members of the Lifetime Assistance work program who assembled the centerpieces and delivered them to Church of the Reformation for this special meal. We are glad to have been able to kick off the holiday season with many members of the Rochester community!

Lifetime Assistance, Inc.

Posted: December 19th

Written by Bill McNamara

In 1978, a group of loving parents – with the backing of local and state agency leaders – founded an organization to give their children with developmental disabilities the tools to achieve the highest possible level of independence and satisfaction. These parents wanted their children to have opportunities to develop life skills, to pursue their individual goals and dreams – and to enhance their pride and self respect as productive members of the community.

Today, Lifetime Assistance, Inc. has grown into a community leader – and is the largest, most comprehensive agency in the Greater Rochester area serving children and adults with developmental disabilities. Lifetime provides a full spectrum of services for persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Intellectual and Cognitive Disabilities, and Neurological Impairments.

At Lifetime Assistance, we’re passionate about supporting individuals with developmental disabilities as successful participants in a respectful community.

The Program

Over the years, Lifetime Assistance has developed an extensive community volunteer program with over 50 agencies in the Greater Rochester area. Individuals can participate in a variety of opportunities based on his or her interest and skill level. These opportunities, in turn, provide the individuals with meaningful skill-building experiences.

In addition, we work diligently to maximize the use of community resources such as libraries, health clubs, restaurants, museums and local businesses.

Lifetime Assistance Website


Posted: November 14th

Written by Lindsay Gange

My trip to the Food for the Soul Luncheon was one of the first times I had left the house by myself after my hip replacement. It was nice to get out of the house for a bit, even if it was freezing and there was talk of an inch of snowfall we had received during the early hours of the morning. Several dozen Inner Loop neighborhood residents enjoyed a lunch of southern barbecue in the basement of the Lutheran Church of the Reformation in downtown Rochester. 

I had the pleasure of joining two women, a mother and daughter pair, who have enjoyed coming to the luncheon for many years. After everyone who wanted them enjoyed second servings of homemade southern barbecue, each guest was given a bag of non-perishable food items and other household items, like toilet paper, to take home with them. Our executive director, Daryl Staneck, offered up some donated clothing, too. I was touched by Loop’s generosity and thoughtfulness. To give you an idea of the amount of people attended the luncheon, here is a photo of just a fraction of the grocery bags Loop handed out after it concluded!

After the lunch, several guests attended a nutrition lesson provided by the Cornell Cooperative Extension. The instructor received a grant from Eat Smart New York to be used over the course of a year, funding presentations like the one I attended at the Loop luncheon. As an opening activity, we were asked to take some guesses and rank a set of ten different sugary foods in order of their sugar content. A serving, not a bottle, of Coke was at the top of the list that included things like vanilla pudding and Pop Tarts. Many people were surprised and vowed to “rethink their drink” after discovering just how much sugar there is in soda. We all agreed that we did not know how to estimate the amount of sugar in foods, and the instructor taught us to divide the number of grams of sugar listed in the nutrition content by four and the result would be the amount of teaspoons of sugar in the serving. Most people can envision a teaspoonful of sugar, so we found this very helpful.

I look forward to seeing what the November Food for the Soul Luncheon has to offer on November 23rd!

Food Pantry Adds Holiday Service

Posted: November 1st

Written by Daryl Staneck

This holiday season will mark the 4th year that the Food Pantry will take advantage of the NYS Food bank’s offer to provide small chickens and bags ofproduce for our distribution.

As in years past, the size of our order will be determined by our financial resources and storage (freezer/cooler) capacity. The chickens will be offered to the 10 registered families with the largest number of children, and the 20 large produce bags will be opened and distributed among all who come the last two weeks of the month.

New this year is Loop’s participation in the Kiwanis Thanksgiving Dinner Program.  As a result of our visit to the Kiwanis’ local chapter meeting (when Daryl Staneck and Al Sieg spoke about hunger in Rochester and the difference our food ministries are making), we have been invited to benefit from their their effort and bounty. Between mid-October and early November, Food Pantry clients were invited to sign up for a hot, prepared Thanksgiving meal for all in their households.

A Kiwanis representative will call each registrant to confirm interest and address later in the month, and then personally deliver the family meal on Thanksgiving day!  God bless the Kiwanis for their generosity of time, treasure, and talent in caring for our community in this way!

Meet Our New Intern

Posted: November 1st

Written by Janelle Jansen

Hello! My name is Janelle Jansen and I am currently a student at Roberts Wesleyan College. I just graduated with my bachelor’s in social work in May and without wasting any time, two months later I began my master’s degree in the advanced standing program there. In May, I will graduate with a master’s degree in social work!

Growing up in a pastor’s home made it clear to me, from a young age, what I wanted to do with my life. Throughout my life I saw numerous hurting people walk in and out of our church. There were families that got divorced and it completely wrecked the entire family system. I saw the poorest of the poor and I always wished I could do more. 

My goal in life is to help people find their purpose and partner with them in the journey of finding out why God put them on this earth. I believe that discovering your purpose can change your entire life. That is why I chose social work; even though I am only one person, I want to make a BIG impact. 

I am looking forward to working with Loop Ministries and being a part of their effort to help people in Rochester escape hunger. I am very passionate about helping people become the best they can be, and by joining with Loop Ministries I want to provide people with a meal to eat and enable them to reach that goal.