St. George’s Outreach Committee has been sponsoring monthly food drives to support three local food pantries. In October, a special Food Drive Challenge was sponsored by the Outreach Committee in partnership with the Stewardship Campaign. Parishioners were provided with shopping bags and a suggested shopping list of non-perishable food items to help feed either a family or a senior for 2 days. St. George’s met this challenge by providing enough food to feed 32 families and 27 seniors!
A special luncheon on October 11th provided a focus on the work performed by the Outreach Committee and the connection to our annual Stewardship campaign. The vestry designates a certain percentage of its annual pledge budget to support outreach focusing on children & families, education and hunger; this year over $16,000 in funds was distributed and numerous in-kind services, such as special food, coat and baby formula drives, was offered. It is our belief that being good stewards of God’s kingdom means assisting those that are facing challenges in their lives.
A guest speaker, Anthony Jacobs from Meeting Emergency Needs with Dignity (MEND), spoke about the constant increase in those served. This coalition of 17 food faith-based food pantries in Essex County served over 109,000 people last year with 35% of those being children under 18. He noted that even though the economy is rebounding, it is not trickling down to those in crisis. Round table discussions then followed on envisioning how we can expand the Outreach program and how it feeds our spiritual growth.
Father Poppe led the parishioners in a prayer circle offering up our gratitude for the bounty we had collected to send off Our Lady of Sorrows Food Pantry in South Orange.