We asked, "Will you help feed those in need?"
You responded with a resounding "YES!" With your help this month, over 9,800 meals are now available to those experiencing food insecurity in our local community.
These meals are desperately needed. Bruce Rankin, Executive Director of Westside Food Bank, our community partner for over thirty years, explains: "Since COVID arrived in Los Angeles last March, Westside Food Bank is providing 80% more food to our agencies for distribution to local folks who need it most. This includes families with children, seniors, college students, veterans, our unhoused neighbors, people facing pay cuts and unemployment because of the pandemic, and more."
To respond to this need, after a year of being on hiatus, our St. Monica Loaves & Fishes Food Drive returned on Mar. 14, with the goal of supporting the Westside Food Bank. The Food Drive was just a little bit different from our past drives, as is the case with so much these days! Actually, it was a lot different in two ways!
First, during that day's Communion Procession, Loaves & Fishes volunteers stood ready to receive bags and bags of brand-name cereals and snack bars. As the cars drove by, dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers (Patti, Joanne, Meredith, Candy & Diane) cheerfully accepted the donations from generous parishioners, and explained the Food Drive process to others who will be ready to share food next time. Volunteers then stored the donations, until they could be delivered the next afternoon to Westside Food Bank - thank you to Tom & Connie with their loading & delivery help!
Second, parishioners had the option of donating online to our Virtual Loaves Fishes Food Drive, in partnership with Westside Food Bank. By the end of the weekend, $2,450 had been raised with the online drive, which equates to 9,800 meals!
Bruce Rankin shares how grateful Westside Food Bank is for our community's ongoing and generous support: "I'd like to express my immense gratitude to the generous families at St. Monica for being champions of Westside Food Bank's hunger relief work. From your monthly Loaves & Fishes Food Drives to participation in our annual Hunger Walk, this year will be virtual Oct. 17-24, we consider you one of our leading community partners in the fight to end hunger on the Westside ...
Each dollar you donate now to the St. Monica Virtual Food Drive will allow us to acquire another five pounds of food, and your collection of cereal and snack bars will go straight to our food pantries. We can't wait to see how far your strong community takes this drive. With your help, we can get so much more food out to the more than 200,000 local people our agencies serve. Thank you!"
At this point, you might be wondering: "How can I help make sure people have enough to eat?" We've got some answers:
In the fight against local hunger, there's something for everyone to do. The most important thing to do is find what works for you and your family, and get involved! We are an Easter people and we hope you will join us in spreading the Easter joy through the Loaves and the Fishes Food Drive, so we can support more families that are hungry and experiencing food insecurity right now in our local community.