By chance and for a different matter, a reporter for NewsLanc arrived at the AME Bethel Church headquarters at Strawberry and Chester Streets at the moment when approximately 80 persons were passing from the lobby area downstairs to the food bank the church operates.
The economic status of most of these persons would not be evident from a chance meeting.
According to Rev. Edward M. Bailey, the food bank helps feed 3000 persons a month and some months as high as 5000. Demand has been increasing over the year.
Bailey pointed out that some of the recipients are the "working poor", persons who do not earn enough from their jobs to be able to fully support their families.
The predominantly African-American congregation conducts a number of programs serving the Lancaster community, one of which, a public health service, primarilly benefits Latinos and Caucasians.
Bailey says the church does not publicize its charitable works but, since the reporter stumbled upon the food bank, he did not object to a NewsLanc report.