On the second Thursday of every month, those in need know that they are guaranteed a good meal provided by Queen of the Holy Rosary parishioners. About 300 people are fed a hot lunch each month thanks to about 50 volunteers who give of their time and cooking talents in various ways.
Steve Slater recently took over as coordinator of St. Mary’s Food Kitchen after making casseroles for many years. He retired and was looking for more ways to get involved. After talking with coordinator Maureen Kies, Steve felt called to take over as coordinator. This ministry is part of a wider organization where people are fed 365 days per year.
To prepare for the lunch, casserole volunteers make the dishes at home. Volunteers go to local bakeries and pick up desserts. The kitchen volunteers arrive early to heat up the casseroles and prepare the other items for serving. When lunch starts, volunteers serve, clean up, and prepare meals for takeout.
“It is rewarding when I can have a brief chat with some guests as they receive their tray of food and drinks,” Steve says.
When the price of food goes up, as it has recently, those living in poverty and close to poverty are even more in need of food. The number of people in need for St. Mary’s Food Kitchen has increased significantly over the past six to nine months. Steve is so thankful to be able to support this important ministry for those in need.
“Serving food at St. Mary’s Food Kitchen is a great way to practice feeding the hungry — the first of the Corporal Works of Mercy,” Steve says.
Steve feels so blessed to have the opportunity to lead this ministry. He sends a big thanks to all the volunteers who make this possible. The kitchen operates well, and he doesn’t plan to make any changes. His main goal is to add more volunteers to serve as backup and to make it easier to serve the increase in lunch guests.
“Other people should get involved because they will receive so much fulfillment by serving our lunch guests and working with our team to help those in need,” Steve says.
Even though it’s not always easy and seamless feeding 300 people, Steve always feels good being part of this ministry. These are people who are truly in need and to send them away with a warm meal is very fulfilling.
In addition to his involvement with St. Mary’s Food Kitchen, Steve is a member of the First Saturday Street Ministry, where volunteers deliver sack lunches, water, personal supplies, and other items to people on the streets of Kansas City. In turn, he has been inspired by other parishioners doing important work.
“This spirit of dedication and willingness to serve runs deep across many ministries and volunteers at the parish,” he says. “This commitment that parishioners have to help others in the extended parish community is contagious.”
To get involved with St. Mary’s Food Kitchen, visit www.queenoftheholyrosary.org/food-kitchen.