Gleanings Community Meal
Our Gleanings ministry, started in June 2015, continues to flourish five years later. The core of that work, collaborating with the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) to provide food and fellowship each week to our guests, continues to go well.
Read about GLEANINGS MEALS TO GO during the suspension of in-person worship and outreach services due to the 2020 COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Contact Deacon Trisha Thorme, Gleanings Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
More than meals at TASK
Deacon Trisha Summer 2019
Recently several members of Holy Apostles’ went to Trenton to visit the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK). One visit was for a meeting for the 14 satellite sites that partner with the organization to offer a meal each week. The other was a thank-you brunch held as part of National Volunteer Week.
Everyone who visited TASK came away impressed. What we especially noticed is that TASK provides much more than meals. The airy, light-filled space was decorated with art produced by TASK patrons as part of their arts program. Before the weekday lunch service began there was a tutoring session, one of nine offered each week. “It was inspiring to see how hard people are working to improve their lives,” said Claudia Sutton. “Every table was full.”
Bette Noble appreciates that TASK has case managers on staff who help connect TASK patrons with other services or resources they may need, such as housing and employment. Health clinics and the Veterans Administration also come to TASK to serve the patrons there.
At the end of both visits we were happy to be a partner of such a well-run and comprehensive organization.
2018 was a very busy year for our Gleanings ministry.We served 6185 meals, an average of about 120 meals a week.
It takes a lot to come to our door. We know it can be hard to ask for and receive help, and we want people to feel welcomed and cherished. We strive to treat each person as a valued guest, as befits a beloved child of God. On Tuesday nights nicely decorated tables in the narthex are full of people enjoying good food and good fellowship. The caring and hospitality shown by our volunteers makes it feel like a family dinner (especially when we celebrate birthdays once a month!).
In addition to the tasty dinners sent by the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK), our guests enjoy desserts made or donated by parishioners. We are also able to provide bread donated by the Italian Peoples Bakery, bread and pastries from the BerryRich Bakery in Allentown, and fresh bagels from the Stonebridge Bakery (also in Allentown). Our guests can take some of those home, which then covers another meal or two. Please patronize these businesses and thank them for their donations.
We have received a number of donations to Gleanings. Not all of these are from parishioners or their friends, sometimes they are from our guests. In 2018 (the check was deposited in 2019) Soles for the Harvest 5kRin/Walk raised $1,105 including blessings from various donors and co-sponsors. We use donated funds to pay for containers for takeout meals (Styrofoam containers are easier to work with), beverages, salad (when TASK runs out), butter or other supplies. We also provide help to some of our guests in the form of gift cards, warm clothing, adult diapers, extra food, or assistance with bills.
In 2016 we served about 94 meals a week, and in 2017 that number climbed to 120 meals per week.
Yet, those numbers don’t show the care and camaraderie that fill the narthex on Tuesdays. When a regular guest or volunteer is absent, everyone wonders and checks in the following week. Laughter and stories flow through the room. Sometimes we share tears and prayers, either on the spot or in the Prayers of the People on Sunday. Please keep all our guests, their families, and our volunteers in your prayers. Please donate to help offset the cost of this growing and community building ministry at Holy Apostles.
Every summer we work with TASK on a back to school collection. Donations of new backpacks and school supplies can be left in the basket in the narthex through mid-August. To give a financial donation that will assist us in purchasing back to school supplies please click on the Donate Now button below. The supplies will be distributed to families at our Tuesday meals and at the main TASK site in Trenton.
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