Community Outreach Ministry Events

Another manifestation of our continuing commitment to social justice is our Food Pantry and Shower Ministry. Our days/hours of operations are the 2nd & 4th Saturday of each month, from 10 AM to 12 PM.

C.O.M.E.  Update for Spring, 2017

Food Bag

May 13

How do you distribute almost 300 heads of lettuce? You ask your clients to take all they want, to share them with their friends, to share them with their neighbors. You tell them about the different ways they can use lettuce – as a wrap for a sandwich, shredded on tacos, in a salad, in soups and stews. And you PERSIST. And at the end of two hours, all the lettuce has been given out.

How about 30 cases of Gerber baby food that has an expiration date of June 15, 2017? That one is a bit harder because you’re dealing with a much smaller group of possible eaters. And unfortunately, there was no choice – ALL the baby food was strained green beans. But using similar techniques, we gave away about half the cases. We’ll get another chance to finish the job at the next pantry.

Intake has an interesting opportunity. Our pantry is attracting clients who speak Vietnamese and very little English. The intake people know some Spanish, but no Vietnamese. If you, or anyone you know, speaks Vietnamese, and are willing to volunteer either on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, or both, please let us know by giving us your information at http://www.staopen.org/ways-to-give/volunteer/ or talking to a pantry volunteer.

Central Texas Food Bank supplied us with 160 pounds of apples, 50 pounds of onions, and 100 pounds of potatoes. In addition, CTFB provided 24 pints of grape tomatoes, 42 ears of sweet corn, 11 crates of iceberg lettuce and 3 crates of Romaine lettuce. St. Andrew’s garden provided about 19 pounds of fresh produce including basil, carrots, chard, crookneck squash, green beans, lettuce, and parsley.

The May 13th COME/Pantry fed 70 adults and 31 children on site. They enjoyed bel-vita crackers, fruit bars, yogurt, cheez-its, sun chips, mandarins, juice, and coffee. Our clients took home food for 144 adults and 87 children for a total of 231 people. Eight people took showers. We had fourteen new clients.

The Apr. 27th COME/Showers had 20 campers on site, 11 took showers, and 20 received bus passes. Ed Emmer provided the meal. The May 4th COME/Showers had 16 campers on site, 5 took showers, and 11 received bus passes.  The meal came from supplies in the freezer. The May 11th COME/Showers had 20 campers on site, 15 took showers, but no bus passes were given out. Gerry Bradshaw provided the meal.

 

 

April 22

If you’re a beet lover, you’re in a minority group. Of the 45 households who took advantage of our pantry, only 3 wanted beets as their garden vegetable of choice. (The garden gave us 39 bags of produce, which allowed each household to choose one bag.) That’s about seven hundredths of a percent. But those 3 people were passionate about their love of beets, including one client who juiced the beets for her son.

Intake has an interesting opportunity. Our pantry is attracting clients who speak Vietnamese and very little English. The intake people know some Spanish, but no Vietnamese. If you, or anyone you know, speaks Vietnamese, and are willing to volunteer either on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, or both, please let us know by giving us your information at http://www.staopen.org/ways-to-give/volunteer/ or talking to a pantry volunteer.

Central Texas Food Bank supplied us with 50 pounds of cabbage, 50 pounds of onions, and 50 pounds of potatoes. In addition, CTFB provided 25 pounds of grapefruit, 25 pounds of oranges, and eight 3 pound bags of frozen blueberries. St. Andrew’s garden provided about 22 pounds of fresh produce including beets, carrots, chard lettuce, and parsley.

The April 22nd COME/Pantry fed 49 adults and 5 children on site. They enjoyed bel-vita crackers, fruit bars, yogurt, cheez-its, sun chips, mandarins, juice, and coffee. Our clients took home food for 122 adults and 79 children for a total of 201 people. Four people took showers. We had nine new clients.

The Apr. 13th COME/Showers had 18 campers on site, 10 took showers, and 17 received bus passes. Kathy Gichangah provided the meal. The Apr. 20th COME/Showers had 13 campers on site, 7 took showers, and 13 received bus passes.  June Oliver provided the meal.

The food pantry needs dried beans, spaghetti, spaghetti sauce, ramen noodles, large bottles of juice and individual boxes of juice, peanut butter, jelly, canned vegetables, canned fruit, canned beans, canned pasta, CANNED MEATS, (such as tuna, chicken, spam, and salmon) canned soups/stews/chili, rice, powdered milk, and cereal.

If you don’t have time to shop, or forget what’s needed, you can write a check, mark it COME, and put it in the offering plate during church service. These donations are used to purchase bread and eggs which are given to all clients as well as purchasing food from Central Texas Food Bank and sometimes purchasing additional food from retail stores if CTFB is low on supplies. They are also used to purchase bus passes for the campers.

The COME volunteers and our clients thank you for your generosity.

 

 

 

 

COME/Showers Needs Clothing Donations

COME/Showers on Thursday evenings is a spin off from COME/Pantry on the second and fourth Saturday of each month. This event started about 3 years ago when it became necessary to tell the homeless to cease sleeping on St. Andrew’s porch.

Some of the pantry volunteers felt this move would be devastating to the homeless with whom they had built a trust relationship. So they provided meals for the homeless on a few Thursday evenings along with conversations to help them consider what their options were. But these meals never ended.

Thursday showers now has a core of about 15 regular attendees. While the showers and the meal are a big draw, the chance for a time to enjoy companionship and feel safe for a few hours each week is what brings people back on a regular basis.

Services from the volunteers have also grown. Occasionally they will show a movie and provide popcorn. Now other volunteers are providing the meals so the core volunteers are free to monitor the showers and converse with the attendees.

After a shower, it’s nice to put on clean clothes. Thursday night volunteers also launder clothes for the homeless and sometimes provide new ones.

Thursday showers needs donations of socks, underwear, and jeans. The socks should be one-size-fits all tube socks. Boxers should be medium or large size. All sizes of jeans are needed, but the most useful sizes are 30×30, 32×30, 32×32, 34×30, and 32×32. Gently used jeans are also helpful.

Clothing donations may be brought to the church on Sundays to be picked up before the puppet show along with food donations.
Need Volunteers

We need more volunteers to assist with Central Texas Food Bank pick-ups on Fridays.   If you’re interested in helping, please contact Steve Landsman for more details: stevelandsman1@gmail.com