Saint Augustine’s Episcopal Church began its food ministry, One Good Meal, in November 2011 to provide basic food items to individuals, elders and families in our neighborhood who were hungry. We began by stocking a “pantry” in our administration office with canned and packaged food items that were donated by our congregation.
Our response soon evolved into also preparing and serving a hot lunch and/or sandwiches and a shopping experience for our neighbors in need; some of whom are homeless and/or have no cooking facilities. The lunch has been a hearty soup, chili or spaghetti, sandwiches and a salad that is prepared by volunteers and members of our congregation. For Thanksgiving we serve a traditional thanksgiving dinner (turkey, dressing and all the trimmings).
One Good Meal currently serves approximately 50 to 60 neighbors on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month. Our parish hall is opened to our neighbors-in-need, to select food items from what has been purchased and to sit and enjoy lunch.
Gave Many Thanks!
St. Augustine’s One Good Meal food pantry held an abundant Thanksgiving food distribution and meal on Saturday, November 14, 2015. Father Thornell personally greeted all of our guests and even latecomers did not go without. Over a two day period more than twenty-two devoted volunteers shopped, assembled and stuffed 100 grocery bags with Thanksgiving fixings including a turkey or turkey breast, festively decorated the hall, harvested and prepared salad greens from the garden, served beverages, cooked and served a delicious hot Turkey meal with pumpkin pie, and then cleaned up. Many thanks to those who continue to volunteer and donate to the pantry throughout the year. Gods’ abundance was manifest on this day.
All Praise to God – Give Thanks! Click for Photos...
Margaret, of Trinity Episcopal church in Montana, donated $20 to One Good Meal when she saw us buying over 50 jars of gravy for the thanksgiving distribution. Margaret was in town with her mother who was undergoing chemotherapy. God bless Margaret for her giving spirit.
St. Augustine’s Food Pantry is GROWING!
For over a year St. Augustine’s Food Ministry, One Good Meal, has been distributing food and serving meals to hungry neighbors each month. Between 20 and 50 people have come to Bakewell Hall between 11 am and 1 pm on the 4th Saturday of each month to receive a bag of groceries and share a meal on site. We have developed a regular group of clients who depend on us each month. Some of our clients have joined us for Sunday worship, others come early to help set up the distribution line. Many have become our friends, and new people arrive each month.
We are taking a major step forward in our work this month by joining the Alameda County Food Bank (ACFB). As a member agency of the ACFB, we will be able to purchase more food, including fresh produce, at a lower cost, allowing us serve more people. ACFB will also provide resources to enhance our ministry: assistance to obtain grant funding and training on food safety and nutrition. In the coming months we will add a second monthly food distribution and also hope to provide gently used clothing, toiletries, and access to social service agency representatives to our clients during our food distributions.
We have been able to do this only because of the generosity of St. Augustine’s parishioners who have brought nonperishable food to services on Sunday; donated money; and donated their time, energy, and care to plan, prepare for, serve, and clean up after our monthly food distributions. A large and faithful crew of parishioners and volunteers from other parishes contribute to this ministry and, in the process, develop community among themselves and with clients. We who work in this ministry feel so blessed by it and so grateful to everyone who participates.
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!