|A wholistic response to this crisis
It was the third week of being ordered to shelter in and we had lines of people coming to our church's doors asking for food. It was two families in our neighborhood that came asking for food for their children. I went to the basket where every weekend, in our worship space, we gather to share what we have and gave out what we had collected there. That was the start. Currently, we are still averaging about eighteen hundred families per week who come to us to pick up grocery care packages. We are also sending prepared, hot meals to about four hundred people per week and groceries. Around eighteen tons are loaded up in trucks, vans, and cars and are brought to Good Shepherd where a few of us unload and pack. Eighteen tons of fresh produce, some grains and basic staples are given out by our dedicated volunteers. Right when we began our feeding ministry, I began asking the question about what sustainable practices we, as an organized community, need to take on and integrate in our worshiping community (the altar table is connected to our kitchen, school and work tables). Then one of our members came to us and said that he was going to begin sowing seeds on the back of our church. An empty stretch of about 8X20 that was used by our children as a playground. There we began the seeding and eventually transplanted those fledgling seeds to our roof garden. I have to say I am grateful for the dedication of a handful of volunteers and members of our church and larger community who continue to show up (even remotely) and continue to be faithful to the task of being witnesses of a liberating message of hope in these difficult times.
It has been an honor to continue to work with the mutual aid groups, friends in the neighborhood, North Brooklyn Angels, Tacombi Community Kitchen, and some others who are helping us to be more sustainable as we keep bringing meals to the homebound, giving out grocery, care packages to those that we call to our doors.
If you want to volunteer either by driving, handing out food, preparing or want to support somehow please do write to firstname.lastname@example.org
or want to donate go to our webpage http://www.goodshepherdbayridge.org
Thank you. Your generosity keeps us being bearers of hope as we continue to be in solidarity with our neighbor.
Rev. Juan Carlos Ruiz