LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Since March, Lundy's Catering donated about 850 meals a day to the Catholic Action Center, Salvation Army and Hope Center.
Friday morning, Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton, Catholic Action Center Director Ginnny Ramsey, members of the team at Lundy's Catering as well as Owner Jerry Lundegran and other community leaders joined outside the Catholic Action Center in Lexington to celebrate the distribution of 102,000 meals to the homeless in Lexington over 98 days.
"We can't thank the Lundergan business enough. Lundy's just provided unbelievable amount of nutritious, wonderful meals. In fact, our folks were kind of spoiled by what they provided. But also the whole community and our mayor, we're here to thank her. Her leadership has been phenomenal. We in Lexington need to be proud. Our office of homeless intervention. Everybody has come together," said Ramsey.
She explained when the pandemic began in Lexington, her team at the Catholic Action Center was uncertain how they would meet the need.
Ramsey recalled, "We were trying to figure out something, because we don't have budgets for these things. We, you know, we depend on people coming once a month, once a week, once every three months and bringing food to, to have meals. So we had no idea this was a paradigm shift. But that phone call, is what made it happen."
The phone call in March came from Alyssa Lundegran, daughter of Jerry Lundegran, asking if her family could do anything to help the Center.
"We've been so blessed and have the opportunity to give back to our community," said Alyssa.
In the days that followed Lundy's kitchen began making hundreds of meals not only for the Catholic Action Center but also for the Salvation Army and the Hope Center.
During Friday's gathering, Jerry explained why caring for the homeless in Lexington is important to his family and said he hopes the community can see the need and help.
"We don't need to criticize these fine people who are standing on our street corners, trying to make some money so they can continue on in their life. We need to give them hope. We need to work with them and do goodwill for them," he said. "And we need to encourage them in a way that we can lift them up, so they can get out of this situation face this challenge, and get a mindset to be a decent citizen, like they already are but a productive citizen in our community. And that's what our family is trying to do."
Jerry also donated $50,000 to the Catholic Action Center Friday to help them prepare for the next wave of the pandemic to purchase cleaning supplies as well as other needed materials. Additionally, he committed to having Lundy's help the Center when restrictions tighten again.
In the meantime, Ramsey said food and monetary donations from the community will help them feed the homeless.
"We're getting our new normal is now that we're asking folks to donate meals, but to bring them to our kitchen door ring the doorbell safely distance take the. We can't have volunteers come in and serve and be part of our community like we always have," said Ramsey. "We were used to having 1000 volunteers a month to make it all happen, and we had to close our doors to them, because of the COVID."
As she reflected on the past few months, Ramsey was filled with hope. She said, "My faith has been increased and increased and increased by the goodness of people by the goodness of the good Lord, and also by the leadership that we have in Lexington. To watch as they dealt with so much and have come through and their compassion for all. And that's the thing I think that COVID is gonna stir up compassion and people who may not have thought about those who were left out."