NORRISTOWN, PA — Local churches are the barometers of economic disparity in the West End. The once affluent community, with its stately homes lining Haws Avenue, has become a different sort of place. On streets lined with houses whose kitchens once knew bounty are the hungry citizens of contemporary Norristown.
The Rev. Sandra Etemad, rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church, described area residents as “a lot of really hard working people that don’t have enough money.”
There are a number of food ministries in Norristown that work to alleviate hungry neighborhoods, from All Saints’ twice monthly Saturday dinners to Haws Avenue Methodist’s Sunday lunch.
The purpose of these meals is twofold. They serve those searching for sustenance and act as meeting places, where parishioners and other community members can gather for company. There are those who attend the meals for just a few minutes of conversation.