In the Gospels, Jesus teaches us how we should serve others. He teaches us to respond to their 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 Holiday Food Assistance Ministry strives to do.
The Holiday Food Baskets are a collection of non-perishable groceries and a turkey (for Thanksgiving) or a ham (for Christmas). The bags are given to people from the community who are in need of assistance during the holiday season.
“The poor in our community are served directly,” says Andy Ziny, Program Coordinator. “We serve parishioners and non-parishioners alike, including foster families and young adults who have recently been emancipated from foster care. The poor will always be with us, so we must seek opportunities to serve them.”
This ministry provides parishioners an opportunity to share the blessings that God has given them with others. Anyone in the parish can volunteer to help. In the past people of all ages, and even families, have participated.
There are many ways to volunteer, including donating non-perishable groceries, sorting the donated groceries, setting up, and greeting the recipients on distribution days before Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Serving as part of this ministry provides an opportunity for parishioners to serve other members of the community directly. Participants have shared that they often come away from the holiday season feeling a little more fulfilled, as they have given of themselves to serve the poor.
“Participating in this food program gets me in touch with people who need the assistance,” Andy says. “I can see the face of the poor people in the community, and ‘helping the poor’ becomes not just an abstraction or a place to make a financial donation, but something we do with our hands, hearts, and voices.
“God sees the poor and has compassion on them to solve their problems,” he adds. “We, in this ministry, and all the ministries of the parish, are some of the ‘tools in His toolbox’ to fix problems in the world. We are grateful for the chance to help.”
If you are interested in getting involved with the Holiday Food Assistance Ministry,
contact Andy Ziny at 719-598-3595 or email@example.com.