“We’re still under the illusion that there is a social net, but it is so tattered.”
~ Carol Johnson, Executive Director, St Mary’s Center, Oakland
Happy Old and New Year – As the joyful holiday season recedes, we look forward to a new year, hoping as always that it will bring change for the better. Hunger Action Work Group closed out the old year with a service project that joined with the Faith Trio and other communities of faith at the Alameda County Community Food Bank on Dec 31. We bagged oranges and apples, from large bins into grocery-sized mesh bags, which in turn are provided to needy people through agency partners, such as our own partnership with the Fruitvale Community Outreach pantry for Emergencies (COPE).
Some agency partners provide hot meals, some provide choice of foods to take home for later preparation, such as we do at the Fruitvale Pantry. But at Fruitvale, in addition to the food, and donated clothing for men, women and children, MPC has also provided prepared snacks and good cheer over the past year. The Youth Group has come several times to provide sandwiches and hot drinks while patrons wait their turn to choose foods. This was also their second year to join in Christmas carols. Several weeks ago the elementary and middle school children of MPC Godly Play, and their families, also provided sandwiches and helped distribute food to the patrons. These intergenerational opportunities for service are but reminders that the great need to be kind and share what we have does not end at Thanksgiving or Christmas, but continues all year long. Our winter commitment to serve hot dinners once a month to St. Mary’s Center residents begins on January 28.
Spring is Around the Corner – HAWG members will be looking to work with other MPC stakeholders to prepare a plan for the garden, now that it has provided fresh produce directly to the Fruitvale Pantry for one year. The planning, execution and oversight, working directly with the Youth, will be exciting as we try to maximize the bounty and delivery.
Upcoming Service Dates: Contact any HAWG member for more details.
Fruitvale Pantry – Jan. 3, 17, and 31
St. Mary’s meals – Jan. 28, Feb. 11, Mar 25, Apr 29
College Avenue Presbyterian Church – Jan. 16, Feb. 20., Mar. 20.