Our Needs

Serving the Bodies and the Souls of the Hungry


We have four fundamental needs at THE LADLE:


  • Volunteer Groups  - We are always seeking additional churches and synogogues to take charge of a complete meal at THE LADLE.   The ideal volunteer team is a group of 5 to 8 dependable and outgoing individuals that plan the menu, purchase the food, prepare the meal at home, serve the meal and clean the kitchen and dining room after the meal.   Sustainability is a key issue for THE LADLE.  Spreading the opportunity to serve amongst a larger base of volunteer groups adds diversity and keeps everyone fresh and motivated.  Each volunteer team should be prepared to commit to at least two but not more than four servings per year.  Some churches field the same team of volunteers at each serving while other churches rotate volunteers. 
  • Holiday Gifts – Every year in December, we hold a special holiday event at THE LADLE.  We sing holiday songs and give gifts to our guests.  Contributions of gifts and cash are needed at this time of year to make this event possible.
  • Contributions to the Food Pantry – THE LADLE stocks its food pantry with foods and household goods.  We are in need of canned foods, noodles, tea bags, coffee, jams and jellies, peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, instant mashed potatoes, rice, crackers, baby formula and other non-perishables.  We are also in need of consumables and personal hygiene products such as paper towels, toilet paper, shampoo, deodorant, shaving cream and bath soap.
  • Cash Contributions -  Our meals are contributed by volunteers, the dining facilities are donated by the First United Presbyterian Church of Ambridge and we have no paid staff.  This helps to keep our organization lean, efficient and mission-oriented.  Although our operating budget is quite manageable, there is always a need for cash and fundraising efforts.  We use cash contributions to purchase serving supplies and cleaning supplies.  Occasionally we need to replace tables, add equipment  and make repairs to the church dining room and related facilities.   We also require cash to pay our annual insurance premium.  From time to time, we engage the services of a security guard to help us instill a sense of well-being and order at THE LADLE.  There is always a need for cash to address the special circumstances of our guests, including transit vouchers from BCTA, food vouchers from Giant Eagle and overnight emergency lodging vouchers from the James Motel in Baden.  And when the budget permits, we make a contribution to our generous hosts at the First United Presbyterian Church of Ambridge to offset the cost of utilities. 


We are especially anxious to work with churches and synogogues that are willing to sponsor a LADLE fundraiser or that donate non-perishable food and household supplies to our food pantry.  We would also be happy to provide motivational speakers to prospective donor organizations to tell the story of THE LADLE to your members.  Better yet, we would be happy to arrange for you or your organization to make a personal visit to THE LADLE on a Monday afternoon so that you can witness the accomplishments of this mission first-hand.