Food for Friends

“A gift anonymously given from the heart…and gratefully and anonymously accepted by folks in true need.” 

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Fr Ben Maas, Anna Maas and Sabrina Borgstrom prepare bread for the Fauquier Community Food Bank in November 2013.

Join us in serving the nutritional needs of people in our community! There are several major facets to this ministry that operate in both year-round and seasonal projects:

Monthly Food Collections – Help us collect various food staples by taking a canvas Food for Friends shopping bag on your next trip to the grocery store and returning it to the Parish Hall filled with a selec-tion of non-perishable items. Items most needed by local food banks can be found on the “Suggested Items Shopping List.” Assistance is also needed in collecting and sorting the food at least once per month and then delivering the gathered gifts to the designated food bank for that month.

Summer Lunchbox Program – Our newest edition – the Sum-mer Lunchbox Program – supplies free bagged lunches to local children attending day camps at Fauquier Community Child Care and the Fauquier Boys and Girls Club. These children are identified by administrators at both camps as being children from homes who qualify for reduced and free lunches during the school year but have little or no funds for lunches when school is out. Some of these children have been dropped off at camp with no lunch at all. We make and deliver nutritious and balanced lunches and snacks for these children weekly over the summer months. In 2012, we delivered over 225 lunches into these programs. Plan to assist us in this growing ministry!

Monthly Breakfast Sandwiches – The Fauquier Food Bank opens early on the third Saturday of each month. Long before the line begins to form at the Food Bank, a number of people have gathered in our Parish Hall kitchen to cook and wrap a couple of hundred ham, egg and cheese sandwiches for delivery to the Food Bank.

“The delivery is always met with friendly smiles by those in line…the sandwiches are welcome for the nourishment…for most it is their breakfast that morning…and because the sandwiches are wrapped in aluminum foil…and on cold days are held for the warmth before being eagerly eaten by grown-ups and children. Often the first box of sandwiches is distributed before reaching the door of the Methodist Church, the site of the Food Bank. The wonderful part of this story is that the people receiving the sandwiches are unknown to those preparing them, and the recipients do not know who made them…and only rarely discover that St. James’ has provided the sandwiches.”

Please contact Greg Arthaud at gjarthaud@yahoo.com if you are interested in rotating in this ministry. Egg cracking begins at 6:45 and the cooking, deliver-ing and clean-up is completed before 9:00 a.m.

Volunteers prepare meals at the 2014 Thanksgiving Community Dinner, held at St John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Warrenton
Volunteers prepare meals at the 2014 Thanksgiving Community Dinner, held at St John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Warrenton

Thanksgiving Bread Project – This is our biggest annual project. Loaves of Thanksgiving bread are baked right in our own parish kitchen, blessed on the church altar, and then given to the Fauquier Community Food Bank to be included in hundreds of Thanksgiving dinners around the community. In the past several years, our parish volunteers have made over 4500 loaves of bread to be shared both with those in need in our community and with our parish families and friends! Volunteer opportunities are available for a variety of tasks, including measuring and mixing the dough, baking the bread, bagging and tagging the loaves, clean-up, and delivery.

Easter Muffin Project – A sister project to the Thanksgiving Bread program, St. James’ parishioners once again don their aprons to prepare nearly 50 dozen corn bread muffins to be in-cluded in the Easter food baskets produced by Fauquier FISH (For Immediate Sympathetic Help). On Palm Saturday each year, we take over the parish kitchen for about 5-6 hours to mix our hearts out and pour them into corn bread muffin tins! Join us for this heart-warming event!

Food Bank

Saint James’ has taken the lead in supplying the Fauquier Food Bank with volunteers for their Wednesday distributions. Individuals assist clients through the food bank aisles and if able may help stocking shelves.  Saint James’s is always seeking additional volunteers in order to sustain and grow this ministry.  Children are welcome to volunteer as well, but if they are under 16 years old an adult must accompany them.

The address and phone number to the Food Bank is:

249 W. Shirley Ave – 540-359-6053

Their web address is fauquierfoodbank.org. 

If you are interested in volunteering please contact one of our coordinators, Joanne Edrington.

We need two people every Wednesday from 11:45 am to 4:00 pm. We will usually not be needed for the full 4.25 hours but just in case please to plan to be there for all of it.

Thank you again for giving your time!

So what’s next for Food for Friends? Only time and prayer will tell where the Holy Spirit is leading us. There’s always something happening with this ministry, with many opportunities to help! For more information, to ask a question, or to make a suggestion for a new food ministry, please contact Colin and Debbi Borgstrom at theborg20115@verizon.net.

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