“When the crowds had had their fill, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” Jn 6,12
The time has come to launch our new ministry called “All were filled”, a name inspired by the account in the gospel of John, of the multiplication of the loaves. This will be a ministry of distribution of frozen foods to families who have been hard-hit by the pandemic, have lost jobs and income, and are having a hard time making ends meet.
This is made possible by very wonderful decisions that have been made at the Archdiocesan level. The first was to devote about half of the proceeds of this year’s Project Advance campaign to a new fund, which is called the Archbishop’s Crisis Response fund and which will support ministries that come to the help of the people hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic itself, and by its economic consequences. The second wonderful decision that was made was to devote a part of the Archbishop’s Crisis Response Fund to establishing this particular ministry that we have chosen to call “All were filled”. The Archdiocesan Office of Outreach and Ministries contacted us about a month ago to ask if St. Mary’s would accept to be the “pilot parish” for the establishment of this ministry, hopefully on a wider scale, in other parishes of the Archdiocese. We said “Of course!” I take this opportunity to thank two people who are making this possible. The first is Richard Lange, president of St. Mary’s Conference of the St-Vincent-de-Paul Society, who will be over-all coordinator of this ministry at the parish level. The second person I wish to thank is Lorna, who will be assuming responsibility for much of the clerical side of it, i.e., receiving requests, forwarding them to Richard, assigning deliverers when needed, and forwarding the over-all parish order to the Archdiocese.
As I mentioned previously, this is intended for families that are struggling to have enough food on their tables through loss of employment or changes in their circumstances due to COVID-19.
Here are the details as to how the programme will operate.
Requests will have to be submitted on a weekly basis. The boxes of frozen food will be delivered to the parish Fridays at 4:00 p.m. To receive a box on Friday, the household has to have submitted their request to the parish office before 12:00 noon on the preceding Monday. Those who are able to will be asked to come to the parish at 4:00 p.m. on Friday to receive their box. There will be volunteers available at that time to take the boxes to those who cannot come and get them themselves.
The box consists of six bags, each bag containing seven servings of a particular dish, like minestrone soup or chicken pot pie. This adds up to 42 individual meals per box, which is quite a lot. If your household is large enough to consume more than one box per week, you can request more than one. If your household is too small to consume one box of food per week, you can hold off on making a request the following week.
For the time being, we are accepting only requests for one or more boxes of food, as opposed to giving people choices with respect to menu and quantity. This is because we feel that a system of individualized household orders would be very difficult to manage, especially since we are dealing with frozen food. As we develop experience, we may be able to be more flexible, especially with respect to quantity.
We will be counting on you to cease your requests when your financial situation will have improved, so that the available food will always be going to the people who need it most.
For more information or to submit a request for food, contact Lorna at the parish office, either by email at [email protected], or by phone at 604-435-9611 ext. 6.
Finally, I’m counting once again on you, who have access to this form of communication, to please spread the word around. Word of mouth is perhaps one of the best ways we have of reaching those who need this help.
Keep safe and God bless, Fr. Guy