This week is National Homelessness and Hunger Awareness Week, and a local ministry is stepping up – not only to help with the hunger, but addressing a greater need in the community.

The Fathers Heart Ministry goes out three days a week all over the inner city. More specifically, every second Thursday of the month in the Jefferson Avenue area, founder Russ Loria comes and prays for the community.

After giving his life to Jesus in 1997, Loria says changed his life around and wanted to help the people in the streets – serving about 300 to 500 hot meals, including multiple bags of groceries and free clothing. 

But the purpose of this ministry goes beyond the food. Russ presents the Gospel message in all inner city areas in hopes to make a difference in the resident’s lives.

“It can help my community a whole lot better. I would like all of the community to come up here, and not only get some food but also some insight on what would Jesus do in certain situations,” said Latisha Thomas, a local resident. 

Latisha Thomas says she and her family get to enjoy some food, not only for the night, but for two or three days later.

“I just felt like the lord was giving me an opportunity to give back to the community,” said Russ Loria.

However, even The Fathers Heart needs help from time to time, relying completely on volunteers and donations.

 If you want to volunteer, you can go to the They’ll also be serving garbage plates and doing crafts on December 3 at Brighton Presbyterian Church from 10 to 4 p.m.