April has been designated as “Need to Feed” month in St. Charles Parish – and there’s an easy way to help.
The German Coast Farmers’ Market in Destrehan is partnering with the Matthew 25:35 Ministries Food Pantry for a two day event this month enabling food donors to take home a bit of reward for their kindness. On April 17, visitors to the East Bank market will receive a gift in exchange for a donation of three canned food items. On April 21, the opportunity will be available to visitors of the West Bank market.
The promotion came to be because the “need to feed” is very real, as the struggles of many were heightened because of COVID-19.
Matthew 25:35 food pantry director Mary Anne Schindler said that prior to COVID-19’s emergence, on average Matthew 25:35 fed between 230 and 250 needy families each month. Over the past year, that number has climbed – at its peak, it has doubled at 500 families in a single month, and the number has typically come in between 250-500 families. Nationally, it’s been estimated that one in every five families is food insecure.
“The need to feed people in our community increased by 2 and a half times,” said Schindler. “We’re excited to be a guest of the German Coast Market … it’s a great opportunity for people to help others by donating food to the food pantry while receiving a gift in return for your generosity.”
At the market on each day, Matthew 25:35 will also have information on its ministry, how to receive aid and how to volunteer or donate to the ministry for those interested.
“The German Coast Farmers’ Market invites its patrons and vendors to help promote our Need to Feed month in St. Charles Parish,” said Farmers’ Market volunteer Ann Montgomery. “Look for the Need to Feed table to make your donation and receive a market gift for your participation. Many of us are unaware of those in need in St. Charles Parish. Thanks to the Matthew 25:35 Ministry for allowing us to serve our neighbors who are experiencing rough times”
The two-day food drive at the market is part of several events the ministry is participating in this month to help alleviate Need to Feed, as well as to promote awareness of the hunger plight.
“We will be hosting food drives, having nutrition lessons and cooking demonstrations, as well as some other surprises,” Schindler said.
The pantry has also become a distribution site for Catholic Charities Food Boxes.
Schindler said the food security problem has grown not just locally, but nationwide, because of layoffs and work limitations brought on by COVID-19.
“There’s a hunger problem in St. Charles Parish, but with COVID it really grew because so many people were out of work,” Schindler said. “In some cases, people never thought they would be in need, but if there’s not enough money in the bank … you still have to make payments on your house and car note. There’s not enough money left for living.
Those who would like to know more or get involved may call (985) 764-8292 ext. 2 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.