Project 52 Ministries donates bounty of supplies and garments to Sunrise’s Northern Kentucky office
Cincinnatians Jerry and Tracy Reiner have transformed leftover restaurant food and unused items from retail stores into a ministry of bounty and a labor of boundless love for the poor, homeless and helpless in Kentucky, Ohio, and beyond. This week the Reiners, who operate Project 52 Ministries, dropped off more than $5,000 worth of unused supplies and garments at Sunrise Children’s Services’ Florence, Kentucky office.
Jerry and Tracy travel throughout the region collecting unsold merchandise from stores such as Wal-Mart, Kohl’s and Macy’s, and unused food from restaurants like KFC, Chipotle, Panera and many others. The food and items they collect are distributed to non-profit ministries that care for people whom churches and agencies often overlook or neglect, including drug addicts, the mentally ill, abused women and children, and others who suffer in silence on the margins of society.
The Reiners began by donating a few extra loaves of leftover bread from Panera. Today, they work directly with 45 restaurants whose leftovers go directly to homeless shelters and other facilities that care for people who are hungry and without hope. Tracy said when they came across Sunrise’s website, they knew the Lord had shown them a beautiful opportunity for helping abandoned and neglected children.
Last year, the Reiners donated stuffed animals (provided by King’s Island amusement park) to Sunrise, and brought food from Chipotle for Sunrise clients near Louisville to enjoy. They stress that Project 52 Ministries is not a full-service food pantry, but a conduit for bringing food and “random items” to those in need, an advocate for the poor and dispossessed, and an example of cross-denominational service to God’s people.
Written by Chris Jones, Sunrise Associate Director of Communications.