The plague of hunger doesn’t just affect those in other countries, but here in our own nation as well. Many Americans are struggling to make ends meet.
Here in Chicago, Trinity Missions helps to feed the hungry through the ministry of St. James Food Pantry. Under the leadership of Fr. John, the pantry’s dedicated group of volunteers helps visitors pick out nutritious food for themselves and those under their care.
The day-to-day experiences of the volunteers show that poverty is a serious problem in the city. Just recently, we got this message on our answering machine from a senior citizen: “I only have one can of tuna to get me through the weekend.” Despite not being open on weekends, we couldn’t let her get by with only a can of tuna, so we got her groceries. She called back several times to thank us.
Many people who come to the pantry have additional challenges beyond hunger. Many are disabled or homebound and have no one to shop for them or drive them around. They are hungry not only for food, but also for love and companionship to ward off their loneliness.
Others have hygienic needs. Our hearts broke when, after helping a family of seven get their food for the week, their five-year-old son asked, “Can I have a toothbrush?” We promptly filled hygiene bags for the family, including one with a toothbrush for the son.
For these beloved children of God, St. James Food Pantry wants to provide food and build community to show these people that Christ loves them. Ultimately, the mission wants each person to walk out of the pantry with a newfound sense of his or her own God-given dignity.
This is why St. James Food Pantry emphasizes the human dimension of its operations to its volunteers. These wonderful people who help us distribute food are often among the few, or only, understanding ears and hearts that the poor will encounter all day.
To supplement our efforts, we also run a community garden. Still, we rely on donations to meet most of our goals. It is thanks to Trinity Missions and our generous donors that we are able to keep feeding the hungry in Chicago.
Please join us in sharing Christ-like hospitality with our brothers and sisters in need. May God bless you for your generosity!