Changing the World, Feeding the Hungry
Holy Family Food Pantry, Cincinnati, Ohio
Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Carl Steinbach Memorial Holy Family Food Pantry provides emergency food assistance to neighbors in the 45204, 45205, 45214 and 45238 Zip codes. S. Juliette Sabo has been volunteering at the food pantry for the last five years and says she enjoys working closely with the poor. Clients are welcome to come for food every two weeks and receive perishable and nonperishable grocery items to take with them. Throughout the years S. Juliette has had the opportunity to meet many friendly faces through welcoming and checking in clients. More recently, during the pandemic and with added guidelines, she has been inside the pantry bagging items to give to clients.
It’s the people she meets that S. Juliette most enjoys. “Today while I was volunteering and putting bags together inside, I heard a woman’s voice ask if that is S. Juliette she sees. I went out and realized it was our neighbor from down the street. You get to meet so many people, and at the same time appreciate what you have. They are good people, always with a smile on their face, and always so grateful.”
Holy Family Food Pantry is located on the ground floor of the church’s St. Anne Center (3006 West Eighth Street). It is open on Mondays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and closed for all major holidays. Financial donations are always welcome and needed and can be made online at https://holyfamilycincinnati.weshareonline.org/. Since the pantry is run by volunteers, your help is always appreciated. Please contact the parish office at 513-921-7527 for more information.
House of Charity, New Orleans, Louisiana
In New Orleans, Louisiana, Sisters living in the House of Charity (a collaborative ministry of the Sisters of Charity Federation) have focused their attention recently to addressing food insecurity needs in their community. Typically the Sisters are busy hosting volunteer groups from all over the country and working to place families in homes, but the pandemic has brought this ministry to a temporary halt. The women have found new ways to continue their well-known hospitality.
Last month, with gallons of red beans and rice and mac and cheese, Sisters Monica Gundler, SC (Cincinnati); Peg Johnson, SCL; Vivien Linkhauer, SC (Seton Hill) and Patty Huffman, DC (St. Louise Province) prepped, prepared and delivered food to Jesus Project Ministries and Hotel Hope. Jesus Project Ministries, initiated after Hurricane Katrina, is a neighborhood center that provides a variety of services to seniors, children and high school youth. They offer a free meal to anyone in the neighborhood every Monday as well as provide tutoring and special classes. Located just up the street from the House of Charity (HOC), during the pandemic they have welcomed neighborhood children with a safe place to attend virtual classes. Providing meals and food donations are a way to collaborate and support serving those most in need right in the neighborhood.
Hotel Hope was founded by two Presentation Sisters to provide temporary housing for women with children. The House of Charity has been connected with the organization since its beginnings about six years ago. Visiting HOC groups often helped with Hotel Hope projects and Sisters at the House of Charity have served as volunteers. During the pandemic meal prep became an issue as they could not gather in the kitchen. Since HOC Sisters are used to cooking for groups, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for them to continue to support the organization.
Jesus Project Ministries
8315 Apple St, New Orleans, LA 70118
3923 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
New Orleans, LA 70125
Community Matters, Cincinnati, Ohio
In honor of Catholic Sisters Week (March 8-14), and the Community’s long-standing service to the poor and hungry, Sisters of Charity employees have been collecting nonperishable food and hygiene items for the Community Matters Food Pantry in Lower Price Hill (Cincinnati).
Community Matters works to create a thriving and more just community by removing barriers to opportunity. One of the ways they are able to do so is with the Community Market Pantry, a choice food pantry that provides a dignified shopping experience for families experiencing need. Customers shop for free and with the opportunity to select items that meet the needs of their family. In addition to nonperishable, shelf-stable foods, fresh produce, breads, dairy products, and meats are available. The Community Market also offers hygiene products and household cleaning items, which are not covered by food assistance benefits. It is often the first step for families to meet staff and begin on a path towards self-sufficiency.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Community Market has been able to pivot by connecting with Lower Price Hill families through phone calls and online chats to offer emergency support through the delivery of items directly to the doorsteps of their neighbors. By mid-April of last year, demand for the pantry alone nearly doubled, and families were (and still are) requesting food and supplies more frequently.
S. Mary Ann Humbert has been a faithful volunteer to the food pantry for a number of years. She has enjoyed getting to meet the families in the neighborhood as she assists shoppers, bags food items, stocks shelves and collects pantry items. She enjoys seeing familiar faces stop by and as she gets to know them, they are more and more comfortable confiding in her. Her listening ear has been a source of comfort and support.
Food collection by SC employees is a way to honor the Sisters and carry forward their mission to serve and care for others. Donations will be collected through Sunday and then delivered to the food pantry. If you or your organization is interested in hosting a food drive for Community Matters, contact 513-244-2214. For more information about the organization visit www.cmcincy.org.
Sacred Heart Food Pantry, El Paso, Texas
In December 2020, S. Andrea Koverman began volunteering at the Sacred Heart Food Pantry in downtown El Paso, Texas. The experience stayed with her and, so, on Christmas morning, she and Sisters Carol Wirtz and Peggy Deneweth prepared meals for the homeless and others in need. “I just couldn’t sit in our house staring at each other when we knew so many people were really suffering and getting more and more desperate for food to feed themselves and their families,” she recalls. “It was a great way to spend that morning – love incarnate in a soup kitchen.”
Since, she has continued to volunteer four to five hours every Friday, helping in the kitchen, doing food preparation and packing meal bags for those coming to get a hot meal. Due to the volume of donations received, S. Andrea says they are able to pack to-go boxes that can be distributed elsewhere each week. She brings boxes home, and with the help of Sisters Carol and Peggy, they take them to Anapra, Mexico, and distribute to families they minister to at Santo Niño.
Sacred Heart Food Pantry is located at 610 S. Oregon Street in El Paso, Texas 79901. It is open Fridays from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. To qualify, persons must live in the 79901 Zip code area. For more information, or to help, contact 915-544-4970.