1. Managing Director
  2. Managing Director
  3. Managing Director
  4. Managing Director
  5. Managing Director
  6. Managing Director
  7. Managing Director
  8. Managing Director
What We Do
Together, we
  • coordinate and support awareness of and access to available community resources;
  • promote cooperation among churches and civic organizations to address unmet community needs;
  • put our faith in action by contributing countless volunteer hours;
  • contribute strong financial support to many local social programs; and,
  • we reach out to others in our community through education and ministry.
Who We Are

     Organized in 1997, Salem Area Ecumenical Ministries (SAEM) is a gathering of lay people and pastors from Salem, western Roanoke County and local service agencies working together in the name of Christ to serve people in need in our community. 


Salem Area Ecumenical Ministries is pleased to recognize The Hope Fund of Community Foundation Serving Western Virginia for financial support of the "Summer Feed and Read" program.

Since 1988, the Community Foundation has been primarily serving the cities of Roanoke, Salem, and Martinsville and the counties of Roanoke, Botetourt, Craig, Franklin, Henry, Patrick and Alleghany. "This place we call home is filled with very generous people who care deeply about the region, and we are honored to partner with them!"

During the school year, SAEM provides weekend breakfast and lunch items to over 140 elementary students in Salem and west Roanoke County. Over the summer months, SAEM provided over 16,100 meals to 160 students.

Special thanks to the many volunteers who assisted with the packing for the food items for the Summer Feed and Read. Many local churches, youth groups, community groups helped pack the food items. We are certainly appreciative of the Salem High School football and basketball teams for assisting.

If you are interested in supporting our feeding programs, please contact Garry Lautenschlager at [email protected] or 540-389-4889.

Donations can be mailed to:
P. O. Box 737
Salem, VA 24153

Salem High School to Implement Student-Led Food Pantry

A group of Salem churches, nonprofits and government agencies received a two-year, $59,450 grant from the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY) to launch a Healthy Communities Action Team (HCAT) to initiate and support student led food pantries. The “Giving Light” Food Pantry at Andrew Lewis Middle School was dedicated in October 2018 and currently serves 25 families.

SAEM is pleased to partner with Salem High School to implement a Food Pantry at Salem High School in Fall 2019. Once operational, the food pantry will increase access to healthy foods that will be a “student-choice” design where students can shop from a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy staples and provide feedback. The food pantry will be supported by school-based food drives and community food collection.

The school food pantry will be guided by a student council and continuously stocked by donations from local congregations, businesses, community groups and individuals. In addition, the project will also focus on creating policy change that refocuses anti-hunger efforts to allow students to tackle obesity and food insecurity. This will be done through setting collection guidelines to include foods based on low-fat, low-sugar, and low sodium options.  The student pantry council will create a written policy for the governance of the food pantry and "bring-a-food" event admission policies.

​​​Our Leadership

​​​​Cindy Neathawk,  Chair

Artice Ledbetter, Vice Chair, Feeding Programs

Trula Byington, Vice Chair, Clothes Closet

Mary Cross, Treasurer

Garry Lautenschlager, Secretary​

Joan Dorsey, Director Emerita

Lisa Clause, Director

Cari Preas, Director

Joyce Earl, Director

Pastor Bryan Buckles, Director

Tanya Ridpath, Director

Margaret Lacy, Director

Beverly Looney, Director

​Tonya Pickett, Director

Catherine Nugent, Director

 Click on the Donate button to be redirected to our secure donation page. 
Thank you for supporting our efforts to help the children in our area grow into all they can be!