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Best Friends &
Superstar LUM Volunteers

Suz Branson & Theresa Landis have been friends for more than 15 years. They became friends through their church and have found that engaging in the community together has been fulfilling and has strengthened their bond as friends.

Suz grew up in Sidney, Ohio, and moved to Lafayette with her husband, Pete. After retiring from Purdue HR, she became an active volunteer. Theresa is originally from Demotte, Indiana, earned a bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Purdue, and was the 4th & 5th grade teacher for high achieving students in Kankakee Valley. After retirement, Theresa and her husband, Jeff, moved to Tennessee. When they returned to Lafayette in 2018, Theresa & Suz found community engagement opportunities that were meaningful to them and started serving.

Suz shared that,

For me, it’s a ‘heart thing.’ We have an obligation to give back and a duty to make our community better.

Theresa added that,

It is a reminder of how blessed we are, how fragile life is, and how difficult it is for many to ask for help.

Suz & Theresa agree the best part about volunteering is interacting with and getting to know the clients. Suz stated,

We are all people; so, we try to remember people’s names, greet them with a smile and try to make their day.

To which Theresa added,

We get so much out of this experience too.

Suz & Theresa love volunteering with LUM because, “LUM serves so many different people and offers so many ways to support them.” They also like that, “LUM helps people get back on their feet — and become more self sufficient.

LUM is grateful to Suz & Theresa for choosing to volunteer weekly with the LUM Protein Food Pantry. As you can imagine they soon became superstar volunteers. Suz & Theresa also volunteer each year with Jubilee Christmas and several other one-time opportunities at LUM. They encourage anyone who is thinking about helping out to “find a friend” and get started together. They shared that,

It will only make your friendship stronger and your bond everlasting.

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LUM Food Pantries
Grand Opening
LUM Westside Food Pantry

West Lafayette, IN – Lafayette Urban Ministry is thrilled to announce the opening of a new food pantry in West Lafayette, IN. The details of the Grand Opening of the new LUM Westside Food Pantry are as follows:

  • Grand Opening – LUM Westside Food Pantry
  • Date – Friday, May 7, 2021
  • Time – 9:30 a.m. 
  • Location – Unitarian Universalist Church, 333 Meridian Street, West Lafayette, IN (Smiley Street Entrance near Playground)

This new food pantry is a partnership between LUM and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tippecanoe County with the support of the Chapel of the Good Shepherd. The LUM Westside Food Pantry complements the LUM Protein Food Pantry, located in downtown Lafayette, and is the only TEFAP food pantry in West Lafayette. The LUM Protein Food Pantry (Lafayette) is open on Thursday mornings, and the Westside Food Pantry (West Lafayette) will be open on Friday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon. Both LUM food pantries are open to all residents of Tippecanoe County. In addition to the food provided by the USDA through Food Finders Food Bank, Inc., the food pantry will offer protein (meats, fish, peanut butter & beans), fresh produce and paper products. 

Cheryl Fowler, LUM Board president shared that, “After months of gathering data, it is clear that West Lafayette needs a food pantry. Expanding the LUM food assistance program to West Lafayette is consistent with our goal to be a partner in feeding our neighbors in need, by offering free, nutritious food, now twice a week. This is an exciting time for LUM and our county.”

Individuals can help the new LUM Westside Food Pantry in four ways:

  1. Food Drive – Sponsor a food drive at your church, business or in your neighborhood. Extra Credit – Make it a MONTHLY food drive
  2. Donate – Make a monetary donation or Donate “needed items
  3. Volunteer Sign up to volunteer at one of the LUM food pantries
  4. Promote – Tell your friends, family, and members of your church, group, business or organizations

Future plans include moving the LUM Protein Food Pantry to a better location in downtown Lafayette and expanding the days of operation at both sites. For more information go to or email

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a federal program that helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans, including elderly people, by providing them with emergency food assistance at no cost. Through TEFAP, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) purchases a variety of nutritious, high-quality USDA Foods, and makes those foods available to State Distributing Agencies, like Lafayette Urban Ministry.