St. Joseph Parish in Farmington and St. Rose of Lima Parish in Jay have been named recipients of the Matthew 25 Awards, which include grants ranging from $ 3,000 to $ 5,000.
The awards, presented by Catholic Charities Maine’s Parish Social Ministry Program, are presented to parishes to help them expand their capacity to serve more people or develop a new social ministry. Ministries that receive the rewards should directly serve vulnerable people in need, regardless of their religious affiliation, and adhere to the principles of Bible verse Matthew 25 (“I was hungry and you gave me food. thirsty and you gave me to drink … â).
The $ 3,000 grant will be used to support parish meal initiatives that serve thousands of people in need each month. St. Joseph’s Nutrition Center in Farmington feeds the hungry people of Franklin County by preparing and serving take out meals each week, providing a 24/7 ‘blessing box’ outside the building for for people to come shopping, organizing educational events on good nutrition and cooking skills, and maintaining a walk-in pantry inside the building.
The center is run by volunteers. St. Rose Parish in Lima, which shares parish social ministry planning and resources with St. Joseph, also offers several community food aid programs from its Jay Parish Hall, including a “blessing box.” separate, a take-out on Fridays, and a self-service refrigerator with food located inside the lobby entrance and stocked with perishables.
âProviding self-serve and anonymous access to food in both parishes helps reduce the stigma often associated with asking for free food. Our main need to further increase our service capacity is for more refrigeration and freezing space, âsaid Max Becher, director of parish social ministry for both parishes, according to a press release from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland. . “We often receive food donations in unpredictable and large quantities and are limited in what we can receive through our storage infrastructure.”
In addition, Good Shepherd Parish (Most Holy Trinity Church, Saco; St. Joseph Church, Biddeford; St. Margaret Church, Old Orchard Beach; St. Philip Church, Lyman; St. Brendan Chapel, Biddeford Pool) received a grant. $ 5,000 for Esther Residence, a shelter in Saco for women coming out of prison or a drug treatment program.
For more information on the many parish social ministry programs that help throughout Maine and ways to help, visit ccmaine.org/parish-social-ministry.