LUDLOW/PROCTORSVILLE, Vt. – Parishioners of the Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ludlow and Holy Name of Mary Church in Proctorsville have a food collection the first Sunday of every month, and they donate at other times too.
The collections benefit Black River Good Neighbor Services in Ludlow, the local food shelf and thrift store. Carol Baranowski of Holy Name of Mary Church is secretary of the organization and has helped with food-related services for several years. “Food collections and donations are an important part of caring for our neighbors who might be in need,” she said. “With people out of work and perhaps struggling to put food on the table, we can all feel good about being a small part of making someone else’s life a little easier. It is a good opportunity to serve the Lord by serving our friends and neighbors.”
One of her tasks is to stop at BRGNS and find out what items are needed the most. She alerts her pastor, Father Thomas Mosher, who puts the list in the bulletin. “Usually, I or another parishioner deliver the food items to BRGNS where they are made available to anyone in need,” Baranowski said. “It is like a small store with a long aisle with shelves stocked with food from donations and items bought from the Vermont Foodbank and other local grocery stores.”
The Catholic churches’ last formal collection was May 2. “It is important for the parish to engage in regular food collections because it draws us out of ourselves and into the lives of people whose poverty might be invisible to us,” Father Mosher said. The churches have been doing food collections for several years.
“I have found that Vermonters have a soft spot in their hearts for the poor, especially the working poor and struggling farmers,” Father Mosher said. “One mention of increased need brings out a generous response from my parishioners.”
In response to the increase in food insecure Vermonters due to the pandemic, the Diocese has announced the Feed the Hungry Initiative to increase our parishes ability to meet the increased needs at local food shelves or parish operated food shelves. To learn more about the Feed the Hungry Initiative and Vermont Foodbank volunteer opportunities, visit www.vermontcatholic.org/feedthehungry.