TLC Christmas Lunch & Bazaar 2018

It’s that most Wonderful Time of Year again. Of course time for all the family gatherings, the year-end work parties, the running around trying to get things done, and the preparations that never quite seem to get done. But also for the now 3rd Annual TLC Christmas Lunch & Bazaar!

Christmas Lunch 2017.

The Keaveney family has graciously offered to prepare a hot turkey meal (or two) for the TLC Food Pantry again this year. They’ll be joined by a multitude (see what I did there?) of helpers to prepare a hearty meal for all.

What better way to finish off a great meal, than with some……shopping! This month we have some extra treats in store. Everyone will be invited to select a toy (or two) for any children in the household (we typically have gifts for the 0-12 age range). While we’re wrapping those gifts for you, we’ll still offer the ‘usual’ pantry shopping experience.

Toy Bazaar 2017.

The TLC pantry team is also hard at work trying to collect a special collection of fresh produce this month. Fresh fruits and veggies are spectacular any time of year, though even more so now that we’re all spending more and more time indoors.

Who doesn’t love a Christmas orange in their stocking?!

We hope you’ll be able to join us this coming Saturday, 12/22/18. Lunch service starts at 12:00p, followed by shopping from 1-3:00p. We expect to be opening the doors between 11:30-11:45. We will continue to us the numbered card system, even for the toy shopping. We ask that everyone remains polite and respectful of each other;-)

Interested in volunteering this weekend? We have a few opening remaining. Please email for more information.

Chatham Park Food Drive – Dec 2018

TLC Food Pantry has had the honor and privilege to have worked with the Haverford School District over the past two years. Two summers ago, the administrative team performed a bag drop in the Westgate Hills area of Havertown. Teachers, leaders, and principals alike dropped off bag requests, then returned a week later to collect donations and stock our pantry shelves. This past February, Chestnutwold gathered for MLK day to perform various service day projects. The turnout was tremendous and had a lasting impact on TLC’s ability to serve those in need. (for more details, see the post on MLK Service Day 2018).

More recently, through the month of November, Chatham Park Elementary (K-5) held a food drive. While we have been blessed as food drive recipients in the past, never before have we received such of large volume of the exact food items that are ‘fan-favorites’ with our guests.

Holy Cow! Look at the size this donation!

More often than not, we are challenged with the amount of canned fruit, coffee, cereal (non-Cheerio), peanut butter, and snack bars we are able to stock. The Chatham Park students, teachers, and staff came through in a BIG way. We’re pleased to note that for our upcoming service day (December 22, 12-3p), we’ll be able to stock all of those items and won’t run out!

From the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank everyone who had a hand in the Chatham Park Food Drive this year. Your generosity will go directly to helping those in our community who may be having a hard time this holiday season. Change begins with every one of us and needless to say, this will have a positive impact on many people!

If you or your organization are interested in running a food drive, feel free to send us an email. While the Holidays are a natural time to considering sharing with others, we have found the need exists year-round for many. Any time of year is the right time to think of someone else.

Secret Sauce Saturday

On Saturday, 11/24/18, TLC Food Pantry held it’s regular service day. However, this month was anything but regular! We were fortunate to be visited by Steve Wilson (of Wilson’s Secret Sauce). Steve shared a spectacular lunch of smoked turkey and fresh vegetables.

Steve Wilson (left) donated a tasty, homemade meal at TLC Food Pantry.

Thanksgiving may have officially past, but friendship and gratitude filled the cafe at Temple Lutheran Church. Shoppers and volunteers alike were able to spend time together over a hot meal. Certainly an idyllic way to kick off the holiday season!

Many thanks to Wilson’s Secret Sauce for making this service day one to be remembered!!

I Found $20 In My Pocket!!

We’ve all been there – the unexpected surprise of finding that forgotten bill in your pants pocket. Or in your winter coat when it comes back out of the closet. Or under the seat in your truck when you get to clean it. Regardless of where it’s found, the euphoria we feel is always the same. Yes – what a find!!

$20 in my pocket – what can I do with this!?!?

After that moment of pleasant surprise, we’re then faced with the inevitable question, “so what do I do with this ‘free’ money?” Treat yourself to something new? Go out to lunch? Stop by the bank and make a deposit? Of course we can do anything we want to with that money, although more often than not, it ends up being something for ourselves.

The reality is that finding money like this will not change the course of our typically comfortable lives. However, it may in fact, make a considerable difference in the lives of those less fortunate.

A local family recently experienced one of these ‘found money’ moments. After a thoughtful dinner discussion, they chose to use it for those struggling with food insecurity and/or homelessness. After a short trip to Kohl’s and the TLC Food Pantry, they created the following ready-made care package.

Don’t underestimate what $20 and some donations can provide.

Once filled, this bag was kept in the family truck to be given to anyone down on their luck. As fate would have it, they came across a homeless Veteran while traveling to visit family for Thanksgiving. With the humility of a true hero, he accepted the package with an expression of gratitude.

All packed up and ready for the truck.

Will the package change his life? Only God knows. However, this heart-warming story shows us that even happen-stance occurrences can be turned toward the greater good. If you’ve experienced or performed anything similar, we’ve love to hear about it!

While not as comprehensive as this package, TLC Food Pantry prepares “Just-In-Case” bags that can be used in a similar way. Stable, canned food items are bagged with a can-opener, utensils, and a child-written message of hope. These can be kept in your car, just-in-case you come across someone in need. If you’re interested in picking some up, send us an email and we can make arrangements for you to come get some.

Wilson’s Secret Sauce visits TLC Food Pantry

Super exciting news this month for our Service Day this Saturday (11/24/18)……Wilson’s Secret Sauce (the hot new BBQ joint on Township Line Rd) will be serving a hot meal to our patrons!! Many Thanks to Steve Wilson for sharing his delicious food with us!

Wilson’s Secret Sauce: 484-453-8608

We expect to serve lunch around 12:00 and will be doing our best to get the doors open between 11:30-11:45. Following lunch, we will have our usual shopping time from 1-3:00 pm. Parking can be limited on Brookline Blvd. If you cannot find an easily accessible spot, you are welcome to use the parking lot behind the Surrey Senior Center located on Earlington Road.

1105 Earlington Road – Park in Rear


TLC Mission Partners: If you plan on assisting this weekend, please try to arrive between 11-11:30 so we can arrange Fellowship Hall accordingly.  At the conclusion of our service day, we will also take a few moments to prepare for Sunday morning brunch (to follow the Consecration Sunday Service at 9:30a).

2018 Produce Garden Updates

Check back throughout the summer to see how well our homegrown produce is coming along! We can always use some extra help, so if you’re interested in helping to care for the garden, please send us an email ( or Sign-Up Here to help water each week.

May 13

May 20

June 3

June 13

Our next Service Day is Saturday, June 23rd (from 1-3:00pm). By then, we’ll have plenty of spinach to share. Possibly even some lettuce and kale too!

TLC Garden Planting 2018

Sunday, May 6th, the Burko and McCormack families prepared the TLC Produce Garden. On a refreshingly cool, spring day, all the raised beds were cleaned and prepared for a bountiful harvest later this summer/fall. There is something invigorating and fulfilling about digging in the dirt. Particularly when it’s in service of those in need.

garden team 2018

We are taking measures to make our garden especially environmentally friendly. Our raised beds are all built with reclaimed boards from both the community and from our Mission Partners (we even kept the leftovers in case we need to build more;-)).

raised beds

Rather than using chemical fertilizers, we enrich our soil with ‘homemade’ compost. We try not to throw away any food items from our pantry. Expired items are composted (when able) and the packaging is recycled.


Last year we obtained four rain barrels and installed them on two downspouts behind the church. During the entire growing season last year, they did not run out of water once! Which means we did not need to turn on the hose at all in order to water the garden.

rain barrels

This year’s crop is focused mainly on leafy greens: spinach in the spring (and again in the fall), rainbow chard (a fan favorite), a few different lettuce varieties, and some kale. We were also able to purchase both a bean tower and a cucumber trellis…can’t wait to see how those turn out!


We’ll update our growing progress at intervals during the summer. Be sure to check back to see how we’re doing! If you’re interested in helping out, please email at: We can always use volunteers to help water & weed during the year. It’s often a relaxing way to spend some time in the evening with your family.