For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink … (Matt.25:35)
Meals for the Homeless
The Willamette Center on SE Milwaukie Ave. in Portland is an emergency shelter for women and couples, one of ten shelters citywide run by the local nonprofit Transition Projects. This nonprofit provides shelter and meals to the homeless along with assistance in obtaining healthcare, finding permanent housing, and seeking employment. It relies on churches and other groups to provide dinners for the residents at its shelters.
Our parish has arranged to cook and deliver a dinner for 60 people to the Willamette Center on the second Monday of each month. Due to COVID restrictions, we can’t yet serve the meals directly to the residents; instead, we prepare them in our church kitchen and deliver them.
Additional volunteers for this ministry are welcome. For prep and cooking, there will be several shifts at the church kitchen between 2-7 p.m. on these Mondays as well as opportunities to shop in the days prior. Or if you wish to donate funds, direct them to Church of the Annunciation with the designation "Feeding the Hungry" on the check or envelope. (There is a special fund with this title.)
Looking ahead, when the COVID restrictions are lifted in coming months, we'll have the opportunity to cook the meals at the shelter's kitchen--with help from the residents--and to serve the meal as well. In this case, it will be dinner for 120 (up from 60) so we'll have to recalibrate for this when the time comes.
Please get in touch with Deacon John Jensen if you would like to volunteer for this ministry in some capacity. (You may contact him via the email form on our Contact page, using the drop-down menu to select him as the message recipient.)
Our parish participates in a charitable program developed by the North Clackamas School District, called Backpack Buddies.The goal is to assist students whose families cannot always afford food. Such students receive free school lunches on school days. Backpack Buddies provides them with lunches on weekends as well. Classroom teachers know who these students are. Food donations are sought from churches or community groups, to be delivered to a particular elementary school each Thursday. Then on Friday, the classroom teacher discreetly slips some food into the knapsack of the needy student. Our parish is assisting students at nearby Bilquist Elementary School.
Volunteers are needed to purchase food, assemble the lunches, and deliver the lunches. Financial donations are also needed; they may be made out to the church, specifying Backpack Buddies fund. If you would like to help, please contact coordinator Susan Shahbaz. (If you do not have her contact information, please contact the church office to leave a message for her.)