Tag Archives: hungry

Worcester college kids do good! WPI fraternity house collects food for families this Thanksgiving!

This year, Lambda Chi Alpha at WPI will be working to fight hunger in Worcester through our 20th annual Food Drive to support Friendly House.

For the second year, we will be partnering with Sigma Alpha Epsilon at WPI in order to spread this initiative to the Shrewsbury area as well.

In addition, we partner with the Worcester County Sheriff’s Department, Price Chopper, the Worcester Sharks, and other local sponsors.

Over the past 20 years Lambda Chi Alpha has collected almost 2,000,000 lbs of food for local families in need, helping feed over 2,000 families each year during the holiday season.

Last year, we collected 146,000 lbs of food and this year, by spreading it to the WPI campus and possibly other campus’ in the Worcester Consortium, we hope to reach our new goal of 250,000 lbs.

Working with the Sheriff’s Department we help staff a table at Price Chopper (50 Cambridge street), this year from November 10th-16, to collect non-perishable food items.

Over the course of the week Price Chopper marks certain food items that are in particular need by Friendly House at the time.

Lambda Chi Alpha also distributes shopping bags to houses in the Worcester area, this year on November 9th, for people to fill with non-perishable food items. We then return on November 15th, rain or shine, to collect the filled bags.

We collect all these donations at our house and fill a box truck to send to Friendly House that afternoon.

We look forward to this event each year with the opportunity to organize this event and help out the less fortunate families in the Worcester and Shrewsbury area.

If you would like to donate to the Food Drive, watch for bags at your door on November 9 or contact Aaron Pepin, the Interim External Vice President for Lambda Chi Alpha, at (603) 689-3869, or at lca@wpi.edu<mailto:lca@wpi.edu>.

If you are interested in hearing more about how food or monetary donations are used, contact Gordon Hargrove, Friendly House Executive Director, or Susan Daly at (508) 755-4362.

Reaching our goal of 250,000 lbs of food is only possible with everyone’s support!

Anything that you can donate is greatly appreciated, the issue of hunger is a hard one to beat.

This Food Drive gives the families in need the opportunity to not have to worry about this as much going into this years holiday season.

Thanks,

Aaron  Pepin

Worcester Polytechnic Institute Mechanical Engineering 

Just a reminder: Help spread the word, re: free summer meals for kids!

The First Lady wants all US kids eating healthy foods – and exercising!

By Kevin Concannon

Children need access to healthy food all year long, because good nutrition provides the sound foundation they need to learn, grow and thrive. As USDA’s Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, it pleases me to say that during the regular school year, America’s schoolchildren can depend on the science-based nutrition provided by National School Lunch Program meals and the healthy choices now available at school. But when school is out during the summer months, it’s another story. Many kids don’t have access to even one nutritious meal a day.

USDA’s summer meals programs work to reach those children by providing free, nutritious meals at sites throughout the nation. Unfortunately, millions of eligible low-income children are still missing out. That’s pretty clear when you stop to consider that although about 21 million children nationwide receive free and reduced-priced meals through the National School Lunch Program during the regular school year, only about 3.5 million kids are reached through our summer meals programs.

Job one is to make sure that eligible children get information about the program. Summer feeding sites are located in many communities across the country, especially in low-income areas. USDA needs your help to get the word out and connect eligible kids with summer meals. Schools, community groups, and religious organizations can help with this effort. To find a summer meal site serving children in your community, call 1-866-3-Hungry or 1-877-8-Hambre or visit the National Hunger Clearinghouse resource directory.

If you or your organization is interested in helping us get the word out about summer meals, please visit the Food and Nutrition Service Summer Food website, www.summerfood.usda.gov, for more information and resources. The SFSP toolkit, available in both English and Spanish, includes templates, customizable flyers, door hangers, letters to parents, activity sheets for children, and attendance certificates. Promising practices and tips for success are also available on the website.

You can help other ways, too. While providing children with nutritious meals is our top priority, the key to success is keeping kids coming back to the sites throughout the summer.  Offering fun, age-appropriate physical activity at summer meal sites is a proven way to ensure attendance and encourage healthy habits.  And that takes volunteers – LOTS of them – especially in June, July, and August. Volunteers can help with basics, like transporting food, setting up or cleaning up a site. Volunteers can also plan and lead educational or recreational activities with the children. Go to www.serve.gov/endhungerto find an opportunity to volunteer in your community or to post a volunteer opportunity if you operate a summer meal program.

Kevin Concannon is Agriculture Under Secretary, USDA

Green Island’s St. John’s Church opens its brand new food pantry, soup kitchen and food distribution center!

By Jeffrey Li

St. John’s Church, one of the oldest churches in Worcester,  has just opened its new addition, the Saint Francis Xavier Center, a food pantry, soup kitchen and food distribution center. The renovated, free-standing building is named after the devoted missionary and co-founder of the Society of Jesus.

Located on 20 Temple St., right next door to the church proper, this center was originally a vegetable and fruit store of Clem’s Italian Sausage. The church bought it one and half years ago and has just finished its total renovation. The newly renovated Saint Francis Xavier Center looks beautiful and spacious. The large glass windows and doors were shining under the bright sun of May and so was Father John Madden’s bright smile. Father Madden is the pastor of St John’s and the catalyst behind the church’s mission to feed the hungry – support poor people and working people in a tough economy.

Father Madden said the opening of new Saint Francis Xavier Center will provide a larger and more comfortable place for the church’s current food pantry and free meal service, where people in need can get free meals in the morning five days a week and can also take the free food, mostly canned and packaged foods, to home with them to prepare for themselves.

According to Father Madden, the church has served free meals every weekday morning in its kitchen at the lower level of the church ever since July 12, 2004, with the help of its family members, food donation from businesses like Wegmans Food Markets, and volunteers from other churches. Recently, some volunteers also come from Assumption College. At the very beginning, few people came for the food. However, as the word spread  and the economy took a great downturn, more and more people walked in for the service, and it soon became obvious that the kitchen was just not big enough for the crowd.

When Clem’s Italian Sausage put the building on sale, the church immediately jumped on the opportunity to buy it. The church families went all out to raise funds to buy the property, and they finally succeeded in getting enough funds to cover the total cost – about $1.5 million, including the renovation. The grateful Father Madden thanked lots of people for their help and donation. He also mentioned the highest donor, Frank Carroll, president of the Small Business Service Bureau Inc. and a native of the Vernon Hill section of Worcester, for his donation and his tremendous help as a fund raiser.

The church wasted no time to start renovation after it bought the property. People just couldn’t wait to move to the new building. Now when the work is pretty much completed, Father Madden is still busy talking and arranging things with the contractors. People were so excited! After all, they have waited too long for a decent place like this for them to serve more and more people with due dignity and respect. The staff has tried their best to keep up with serving more than 100 people on daily, but they just couldn’t keep themselves from bumping into each other. They would set up two tables full of sweets and breads and try to arrange as many dining tables and chairs as possible, usually helped by Mr. O’Connor of the Wegmans, and Ryan and his men from Assumption College. Mr. O’Connor also brings in the donated food from the Wegmans four days a week. As there are no open windows in the kitchen, they have big ventilation fans set at the narrow doorways ready to help keep air flowing and keep the temperature down. To accommodate the limited kitchen utilities, the church’s chef Bob Kwiatkowski and his assistants have to get up very early and work long hours to prepare the soup and other foods for the service starting at 8:00 am. Christine, a volunteer from another church, comes every Wednesday morning to chop lots of celery, carrots, potatoes and meat for Bob. She loves her job. “It makes you feel good because you are helping people that need you,” said Christine.

People here believe whenever they feed the hungry or give the thirsty something to drink, they are in essence also giving food or drink to Jesus Christ and this is why when asked for the motivation, Father Madden’s answered without hesitation: “The Gospel says feed the hungry.”

With its history going back to 1834, St. John’s Church is said to be the oldest established Catholic religious institution in the city of Worcester. However, don’t be fooled by its age. The church currently has about 1,000 family members and is full of life and activities. The church has made great contributions to  society and is looking forward to continuing its  great work. For a long time to come!