For over 30 years, the Homeless Meals Ministry has been helping the Day Center for the Homeless in Tulsa to feed dozens of people each month.
Robert Schroeder has served with this ministry for several years and has witnessed firsthand the positive impact of feeding those in need.
“Our mission is to feed the 90-plus people that come to the Day Center on the first Saturday of the month,” Robert says. “We prepare the food at the Church and serve everything hot at the center.”
Unfortunately, there has been an increase in people in Tulsa who are down on their luck and need help with the basic necessities of life. The Homeless Meals Ministry partners with the Tulsa Day Center to meet the food needs of many individuals who regularly come to the center.
“All sorts of people come to receive a hot meal from us at the Day Center,” Robert says. “Some are down and out, and others are significantly injured or struggling with a disability. Most of them are very grateful and appreciative of the food that we serve.
“Usually we provide a full meal of sandwiches or hot dogs with potato salad, chips, or baked beans, and some sort of dessert,” he adds.
And, as Robert notes, all the food is donated by the Cathedral.
“Surprisingly, it doesn’t take much to prepare that much food for 90 people,” he says. “We usually have six to eight people who meet at the Cathedral at 3 p.m. to prepare the food, and then at 5 p.m. we transport it to the Day Center and serve the food for about an hour.”
The entire process takes about three to four hours. The main components of the ministry are preparing the food, serving the food, and some light cleanup at the end.
The food is served buffet style and there is a great opportunity to have casual conversation with those who are being served.
“Many people return month after month and you get to know them a little,” Robert says. “This ministry is a blessing and makes you feel good as you help others. However, it is also sad to see how great the need is in the community.”
During the pandemic, the ministry was hindered by the health-related restrictions and many community members stopped coming to receive help based on the regulations. Since then, the Day Center has seen a resurgence in individuals needing help.
“Doing something for the less fortunate and those down on their luck is fulfilling,” Robert says. “Being a part of this ministry has strengthened my relationship with Christ. God has helped me in my life and this is a way to give back to Him by helping others.”
There is always a need for more volunteers. The time commitment is minimal, the work is easy, and the impact is immense.
“The Homeless Meals Ministry is a great opportunity to meet other parishioners and it is a lot of fun to work together to serve a good cause,” Robert says.
For more information, contact Robert Schroeder at 918-671-5839. To serve with this ministry, sign up through the Holy Family Cathedral Flocknote. Available dates to volunteer are Feb. 3, April 6, May 4, July 6, Aug. 3, Oct. 5, and Nov. 2.