In the Gospels, Jesus teaches us how we should serve others. He teaches us to respond to physical needs with charity, as though we are helping Christ Himself. The Church calls these acts of service the Corporal Works of Mercy, the first of which is to “feed the hungry.” Feeding the hungry is exactly what the CSS Food Pantry Collection Ministry here at St. Peter does.
This ministry collects food, cash, SCRIP, and coupons that go towards helping the families supported through Catholic Social Services. Members help collect food and monetary donations during the St. Peter Food Drives. In addition, they take food donations to CSS to help unload and sort.
“I got involved because I knew I was helping those in need,” says Bonnie Damrow, CSS Food Pantry Collection Coordinator. “By being involved in the food collection process, and spending time before and after the Masses, I also have the opportunity to meet many of our beloved St. Peter parishioners.”
To prepare for the semi-annual food drives, members help staple envelopes for cash donations to the bulletins, tape a “Need List” to grocery sacks, and distribute sacks to parishioners. During the drives, they collect the food donations on a CSS truck or trailer, unload the food at CSS, weigh the donations, check the shelf life, and help place the items on the shelf.
Bonnie believes that this ministry is important because it helps support community members who may not be part of the St. Peter Parish family. For her, this ministry is an opportunity to provide for a wider community of people who are in need.
In addition to the food drives, there is a Food Pantry box available at St. Peter. On Mondays, the donations are picked up by Bonnie or another volunteer and taken to CSS. Bonnie shares that there is always food in the box, which is a testament to the continuous support provided by St. Peter.
“Seeing the smiles on the children’s faces as they bring their food to the CSS truck brings joy to my heart,” she says. “I would love to see children’s artwork on future Food Drive posters during the Food Drives.”
If you are interested in getting involved with the CSS Food Pantry Collection Ministry, complete the 2023 Discipleship Renewal and turn it into the parish office, or submit the form online at www.saintpeterlincoln.com.