Since the formation of our church in 2010, we have been asking, “What does the Lord require of us? How do we do justice, and show kindness?” We have been hearing the answer in the cries of hunger and food insecurity in our community, our country and our world. We have gone from just one team serving lunch sporadically at Christine’s Kitchen in West Orange to a veritable league of UPCWO teams.
Operation Hot Meal: We provide a hot meal on the first Friday of the month for the St. Andrews Episcopal Church feeding program in Newark. Various team members prepare food (at home or at our church's kitchen), transport it to Newark, and/or serve dinner to 75-100 hungry souls.
Food Pantry at Holy Trinity in West Orange: Growing out of a holiday request for help, on Monday evening, Tuesday morning and Friday morning of the last week of each month, this team of volunteers helps at the registration desk or gives out groceries to eligible recipients.
St. Cloud Neighborhood Food Drive:
The First Annual St. Cloud Cares Food Drive was held on Saturday, June 6, 2015. The tally at the end of the day showed:
More than 92 houses donated food.
More than 147 bags of food plus 19 bulk items were delivered to the West Orange Food Pantry.
Volunteers attended the first organizing meeting back when it was still winter, walked up and down a steep hill distributing flyers, made photocopies, purchased extra food, wrote emails and posted on Facebook, drove up and down streets looking for orange flyers, sorted cans of vegetables, directed traffic, loaded the truck, and stocked the shelves. The shelves at the Food Pantry were well stocked for the summer months, when supplies often get critically low.
The Second Annual St. Cloud Cares Food Drive in 2016 yielded even greater results.
Save the date for the Third Annual St. Cloud Cares Food Drive: Saturday, May 20, 2017.
Community Foodbank of New Jersey: A workday on Saturday morning sorting and repacking food in the FoodBank’s enormous warehouse in Hillside.
Christine’s Kitchen at Holy Trinity: Our long-standing tradition, volunteers bring and serve lunch to about 75 West Orange residents on a Saturday morning. Our next opportunities to host: July 22, 2017 and January 13, 2018.
Bread for the World: In addition to our efforts at addressing immediate needs we have joined Bread for the World, a collective Christian organization that seeks to end hunger through advocacy.
Hunger Crisis Networking Meeting: Soon after our church's inception, we have gathered with community leaders and interested people at our church, to strategize about advocacy and to share opportunities for addressing immediate needs.
Whether you attend church regularly or only occasionally, whether you live in West Orange or far away, we invite you to bear witness to this ministry in some way – by joining a team, by lifting up prayers for the hungry, by your financial support, by sharing with others the opportunities and passion found on the UPCWO website or Facebook page, as together we seek to do God’s will.
FAITH IN ACTION TEAM