Parishioners Answer the Call to Feed the Hungry in Our Community: A Note of Gratitude

written by Barbara Silva, Director of Community Outreach, 3/25/2020

On Friday, March 20th, I was contacted by one of our parish’s community partners, the Chicago Help Initiative, with an urgent, last-minute request. Two local organizations that host regular Saturday lunches for those experiencing homelessness and need were forced to suspend their meal service scheduled for the next day, Saturday the 21st, due to concerns around COVID-19.  Chicago Help Initiative was working to organize a distribution of sack lunches at these locations, so that the 250 people who usually partake in these sit-down meals would be provided with a lunch to-go.

That Friday evening, I reached out to a list of parishioners who have contributed to our Saint Clement Friday Sack Lunch Program, relaying this information to them. Over the next few hours and into the next morning, I was inundated with responses of immense generosity.

With practically no advance notice, the Saint Clement community committed to providing over 110 sack lunches for those who would have otherwise gone without a meal last weekend.

These lunches contributed to the nearly 600 lunches that were collected from the wider Chicago community.    This is just one example of the incredible witness of solidarity Saint Clement has demonstrated over the past week.

Thank you to this community, which continues to reach outward during these difficult times.

Thank you for your continued concern for those most vulnerable to food insecurity, housing instability, and other challenges, particularly now.

Thank you for embodying the unity to which our faith calls us.

When the doors to the church are locked, when our liturgies are livestreamed and our physical movement restricted, we are invited to remember that we are the Church and that our faith cannot be diluted by the physical distance between us.

No matter what is going on in our world, our work as a community of faith continues. It is a privilege to share in this work with you.

Barbara Silva, Director of Community Outreach

* If you would like to be contacted about opportunities like this as they arise, please contact me at bsilva@clement.org. Additionally, please see our HOW TO HELP guide for more information on how to support our local partners serving those in need at this time.

* If you would like to support the Chicago Help Initiative in their mobile meal efforts, you can donate online here.