Helping Hands: Feeding the Hungry
Recently, parishioner Bill Richards sent our parish office an article entitled "Food Pantry 'desperately' needs volunteers" [This Week Reynoldsburg News/22 February 2018/Pam Willis]. We thank Bill for this, as the article highlights the very important work being done by the local Reynoldsburg Helping Hands Food Pantry located at 7356 E. Main Street.
Opened in 1958, the pantry only serves families who live within the Reynoldsburg school district. Under the direction of parishioner Janet Munjas, a former teacher of 40-plus years with the district, it helps supply over 45 families per week with necessities like canned foods, soups, and breakfast cereals, as well as personal items like toothpaste, shampoo and deodorant. Its shelves are stocked by community donations and supplemented by trips to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. Cash donations are used to shop locally for milk, eggs, and other perishable products.
The St. Pius X Helping Hands Food Ministry works in partnership with this local pantry by helping to stock its shelves through donations from our parishioners. Ministry coordinators Bill and Jean Richards speak regularly with Janet Munjas to identify monthly pantry needs. They then communicate those needs to the parish community through the bulletin, the website, and a poster in the church vestibule. Donations are gathered in a large collection box inside the doors of the church, and the Richardses gather and deliver these items to the main pantry by car. Donations are usually collected on the fourth weekend of each month.
Helping Hands Food Ministry was initiated by former parishioner Debby Kessler after approval from Pastoral Advisory Council and began its collections in November 2008. Jean assisted Debby in this work. When Debby relocated from the parish in 2013, the Richardses gladly took over the ministry's leadership.
Bill and Jean shared, "We have a very generous parish family here at St. Pius X. They have faithfully supported this ministry for years. We are happy to be the bridge that connects these generous donations with those who need them. Giving back in this way gives us personal satisfaction. We see this ministry as a Corporal Work of Mercy by 'feeding the hungry.'" From 2013-2017, donations have averaged approximately 50 bags/boxes each month. Donations saw an increase in 2017, to 55 bags/boxes per month.
Help is needed through your continual donations of food and personal items. The Richardses invite you to help them on collection days, too. "We welcome anyone who would like to help us carry donations out to our car. If you're interested in helping, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org."
For a list of current items for collection
If you need help or want to volunteer
If you live in the Reynoldsburg school district, please call the Helping Hands Food Pantry at 614-868-9394 and leave a message with your name, phone number and the number of adults and children in your household. You can volunteer your time at the pantry by contacting the same number.