St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
Thursday, May 23, 2013
There's a place for you here.
Food Ministry and Outreach
St. Stephen's food ministry helps to feed the hungry in a variety of ways, from our Fruit Ministry to the weekly Food Pantry, from Backpack Snacks to the Mobile Food Pantry. The needs in our community are growing and your consistent donations of food are the only way we can keep up with the demand. Please remember to bring food to church every week--thank you!
The newest addition to our growing food ministry is a community garden. Using land provided by parishioner Dan Lette, a group of St. Stephen's volunteers has planted tomatoes, onions, carrots, cabbage, beans, carrots, cucumbers, spinach and other greens, onions, watermelons and potatoes. These will be harvested in the coming weeks and months to add to the bags of groceries we distribute to our food pantry clients. If you would like to participate in this ministry, a little or a lot, please be in touch with Deb Lawrence in the parish office. We need people to water, weed and pick the produce.
Our Fruit Ministry volunteers meet year-round on Monday mornings at 9 a.m. to deliver fruit to over 200 individuals who would not otherwise have access to fresh fruit.
St. Stephen's food pantry collects non-perishable food items for those in need, and also provides fresh food with assistance from Market vendors. The pantry is open for distribution on Mondays from 1 until 3 p.m. (Read an article on Richmond.com about the Market's gleaning program here). St. Stephen's cooperates with the "Backpack Snacks" program of the Central Virginia Food Bank to deliver non-perishable food items to at-risk children over holidays and weekends when they do not have access to school breakfasts and lunches.
Donations to our food ministry are always needed, and our hope is that it will become normative for you to bring non-perishable foods, as well as apples, oranges or bananas, when you come to church on Sundays.
In addition to donations of food, St. Stephen's needs volunteers to help in the following ways:
Volunteers are needed to help sort and deliver fruit on Monday mornings year-round.
Storage and Sorting – Volunteers are needed to gather food from collection centers in the Church and parish hall on Mondays and Fridays. This food will then be taken to the Food Pantry and sorted on the pantry shelves.
Grocery Store and Church Baskets Set-Up – Volunteers are needed to set up the “grocery store” in the parish house hallway in preparation for Sunday services as well as preparing the food collection baskets that are placed at entrances to the church. These activities can take place either Friday afternoons or Saturday mornings between 9 am and noon.
Assembly – Volunteers are needed to assemble and fill grocery bags with a balance of the food available for distribution to clients. Each client will receive two bags. The filling of bags occurs on a weekly basis, usually Monday mornings in preparation for the weekly distribution on Mondays 1-3 pm. Assembly times other than Monday mornings can be arranged.
Distribution – Distribution will occur on Mondays from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm outside of Palmer Hall in the parish hallway of the church. Two (2) volunteers are needed for each shift of food distribution operation. Volunteers need to arrive 30 minutes early and can expect to leave 15-30 minutes after the distribution time is over. The Distribution team will be responsible for the distribution process, putting out and removing Food Pantry signage and putting unused bags of groceries in the pantry room downstairs.
St. Stephen's needs volunteers to help deliver packs of non-perishable food items from the Central Virginia Food Bank to students at Fairfield School by Friday morning of each week during the school year (packs are prepared for pick up at the Central Virginia Foodbank by Thursday morning of each week).
Mobile Food Pantry
FeedMore/Central Virginia Food Bank's Mobile Food Pantry travels to Fairfield Elementary School once a month, during PTA meetings when families are likely to be present at the school. St. Stephen's provides volunteers to sort, bag and distribute the food.
Please contact Deb Lawrence to sign up for any of these volunteer opportunities.
A list of suggested items to donate to the food pantry is available here.