Many members of the Church of Our Saviour | La Iglesia de Nuestro Salvador, and the larger Mt. Auburn community in Cincinnati, are food insecure. Sixteen percent of their guests are Latino immigrants who do not qualify for food stamps. Clients also lack necessities such as cleaning and hygiene products, diapers and other household supplies. These deficiencies cause stress and impact decision making. It is hard for these families to do any long-term planning. By providing food and household supplies, Ministerio Alimento strives to “create a lower stress level within families in order to empower them to be able to better solve longer term problems and create a better life.”
This year this ministry expected to serve over 800 unduplicated individuals, representing over 9000 times individuals will receive food, household products, hygiene products and meals from the congregation. Many of these households include vulnerable populations including senior citizens, children, and immigrants.
Normally this food ministries serves a community breakfast and lunch every Sunday, and dinner every Wednesday at the church. Meeting this need during the best of times is tough when working on a shoestring budget. The Reverend Paula M. Jackson shares how their ministry continues to meet community needs while observing physical distancing requirements.
We continue to serve Food Pantry and Community meals twice a week under a stringent new protocol and with fewer volunteers, since mid-March. Here’s a brief description from our parish newsletter:
We have adjusted smoothly to a different way of serving our guests, Wednesdays 5-6:30 and Sundays 12:30-1:30. Sometimes the number of guests is lower than normal, but not always. Last Wednesday, we served 50 heads of household.
Guests are received 6 at a time, wash their hands, and register using sanitized clipboards and pens.
Volunteers bring them their bags of food. Others sanitize the chairs, floor, and other surfaces between guests.
As they leave, they may pick up a prepared meal to go from the kitchen serving window.
Our guests have been amazingly compliant with protocols, and openly appreciative of our intention to serve.
In addition, we have teamed up with Transformations to carry food to immigrant households who can’t get here on Wednesday nights, nor can they come now on Sundays because the regular masses and supporting transportation are all suspended.
Rev. Paula Jackson, 3/31/20