Six covenant churches, four faith affiliates, and two faith partners, doing together what we cannot do alone. United in a common calling to respond to our neighbor’s needs in the city of Albany and beyond, as God’s servant people in a broken and hurting world.
Our FOCUS Work
The FOCUS feeding programs – FOCUS Interfaith Food Pantry, Breakfast Express, and FOCUS Winter Breakfast – are our primary efforts in an endeavor to help those in need by providing our community with good, nutritious food and hospitality. Along with food, FOCUS is intentional in balancing labors of charity with acts of justice by participating in the work of seeking long term solutions to end hunger and poverty.
Jim is an ordained American Baptist pastor. He has served five churches in Minneapolis, MN, Rochester, NY and Painted Post, NY– three of these posts were Interims.
Jim’s passion for justice and advocacy on behalf of the disenfranchised led him to seek a church-related organization that provides both direct service and advocacy—which makes FOCUS Churches a perfect fit.
Mike AsburyBreakfast Pastor
Mike is privileged to be the husband of his wife Toni; a grandfather; a retired public servant; a retired United Methodist pastor and now gratefully the Pastor of the Breakfast Club at FOCUS Churches. Mike refers to the “Club” as the “Morning Miracle, a “parish” formed by the Holy Spirit.
Webmaster, social media poster, newsletter editor and compiler all sort of things that get the word out about FOCUS.
Judy HenningsonDirector of Food Programs
Judy works as co-coordinator of the winter breakfast program on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. She was raised just up the river in Watervliet, NY.
What Judy loves about the breakfast club is that it provides a safe and welcoming space (and some great food) for a wide diversity of people. It is a place of real Grace. The breakfast club keeps her busy and always provides a few moments of the unexpected!
Lorraine HoukFood Pantry
Lorraine was born in Albany, and grew up in Voorheesville.
As the director of FOCUS Interfaith Food Pantry, Lorraine oversees the daily operation of the pantry and Extra Helpings program, schedules pantry volunteers, files all reports with the NYS Dept. of Health, and is responsible for food ordering, statistics, and budgeting.
Outside of her work at FOCUS, Lorraine has been on the board for Food Pantries of the Capital District since 2005, and has been Board President since 2006.
Karen KendallFood Pantry Associate
Karen Bio here.
Becca LeetFood Manager for FOCUS Winter Breakfast & Coordinator of Gardening in a Bucket
Becca is the Food Manager for FOCUS Winter Breakfast. Her duties as Food Manager include ordering food and supplies, maintaining inventory, and making sure that the program follows Health Department regulations. She also occasionally substitutes for Lorraine as Pantry Manager.
Becca is a native of Albany, and was born here. Her favorite part of her job is the knowledge that she’s played a small part in making the guests’ lives better.
Chaz MartelBreakfast Co-Coordinator
Chaz is a first generation Franco-American born in Manhattan.
Chaz is excited about the breakfast club because it will provide him with another anchor for his workweek. On Wednesdays you can find him at the Honest Weight food coop sharpening knives, scissors and other tools. The rest of the week he services the sharpening needs of people throughout the Capital District. Chaz says, “I’m looking forward to getting to know the many faces of Jesus who grace the community with their varied talents.”
Daniel MensahFood Pantry Specialist
When not working at FOCUS Daniel is painter. His work has been shown in local area galleries.
Joe PaparoneFOCUS Advocacy
Joe Paparone who has taken up the role of Advocacy Coordinator. Joe will be facilitating the Hungry for Justice and FOCUS Advocate groups as well as working within our congregations to strengthen our mission as people of justice.