March 2024 Food Drive
We probably all know the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 from the Gospel of St. Mark (6:34-44). You know, it’s the one about the loaves and the fishes. It begins after Jesus and his disciples hop out of their boat:
“When He disembarked and saw the vast crowd, His heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things…”
St. Mark goes on to tell us that, after the teaching, Jesus performed His miracle, and, “They all ate and were satisfied.”
It seems like the main point of the story is that Jesus has a miraculous ability to feed us in both body and spirit – which is very true. But there’s another rather subtle message that’s easy to overlook. Let’s read those first few words again:
“When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd…”
Did you catch it this time? Jesus saw the crowd. He noticed them. That was the key. Once Jesus saw what was going on, He couldn’t sit idly by. He had to do something about it, and we’re still talking about it almost 2,000 years later.
But this miracle apparently happened only because Jesus first became aware of the people and their needs.
Now fast-forward to 2024. What do we see in our community? Are we aware of its needs? Do we see like Jesus sees?
As we go through our daily lives, most of us don’t need to worry much about hunger – at least not beyond simply deciding what to have for our next meal. So it’s understandable we can go weeks or even months without thinking about the fact that there are chronically hungry people right here in the northwest suburbs. The experts call this “hidden hunger.”
The hidden hungry among us suffer from what is called “food insecurity,” which refers to a situation in which people don't have enough to eat – and don't know where their next meal is coming from. It is estimated that more than 44 million Americans, including 13 million children, experience food insecurity annually.
Although some of us might have experienced food insecurity at some point in our lives – maybe even now – and although we’re all affected by the recent big increases in food costs, getting enough to eat simply isn’t a major day-to-day concern for most of us. We’re blessed. So it can be hard to imagine what it’s like to suffer from chronic hunger, to worry about how to pay for groceries, or to be desperate to feed ourselves or our children.
This month, we all have a special opportunity to see like Jesus sees, to be moved as Jesus is moved, and to act like Jesus acts. You can perform a little miracle for the hidden hungry in our community right now through our annual food drive with Interfaith Outreach.
Since 1979, Plymouth-based Interfaith has worked with partners like Holy Name of Jesus to help individuals and families with food, housing, education, employment and transportation. During the 2023 fiscal year, 890 households visited the Interfaith Outreach Food Shelf, supplementing their budgets with food and household goods. Last year hundreds of thousands of pounds of food were distributed to meet the emergency and ongoing needs of families, kids, seniors and those with disabilities to keep food on the table.
Please stop by the table in the Gathering Space March 2-3. You can speak with one of the HNOJ Outreach Committee volunteers to learn more about our partnership with Interfaith. And you’ll be able to take home an empty grocery bag (or two) and return it the next week, March 8-11, with your donations of food, baby formula, diapers, paper products, toiletries and more.
Our annual food drive with Interfaith Outreach will take place March 8-11. You’ll be able to take home a grocery bag the weekend before and return it with your donations of food, baby formula, diapers, paper products, toiletries and more.
2024 Collection Times at Holy Name of Jesus:
The truck will be here on the following dates/times, but you can drop off your food donations at the Gathering Space at any time over the weekend.
Friday, March 8, from 2-7 p.m.
Saturday, March 9, from 4-6 p.m.
Sunday, March 10, from 8 a.m.-noon
Monday, March 11, from 8-10 a.m.
*Drop-off is also available at the HNOJ Fish Fry on Friday, March 15, from 4:30-7 p.m.
This Lent, don’t miss the opportunity to see more like Jesus sees – to become more aware of the hidden hungry, and to do something about it. Then all can truly eat and be satisfied.
~ The HNOJ Outreach Committee