For many of us, there is nothing that brings back good memories like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Sadly for some, that same PB&J sandwich may be the only thing keeping them from going hungry. For more than ten years, Food for Thought, a Toledo-based grass roots organization, has been making PB&J sandwiches and delivering them to people in need each Saturday. The operation takes place at Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Toledo. In addition to the sandwiches, Food for Thought volunteers share conversation with the people that they meet, treating everyone with the dignity and respect that they deserve.
Food for Thought also works to alleviate food insecurity by providing 10 mobile food pantries throughout Greater Toledo. Every second Tuesday of the month, St. Paul’s, Oregon hosts one of these pantries. St. Paul’s, which has been a partner since 2014, serves residents from the Oregon and East Toledo areas. As many as 90 people a month facing food insecurity come to the pantry for nutritious meal options, often including produce from local farmers. Interim Executive Director Scott Delaney says that Food for Thought looks for strong and invested partners that uphold the value and dignity of their service. St. Paul’s, he says, is a perfect reflection of that mission.
In addition to hosting, 10-14 volunteers from St. Paul’s and the surrounding community set-up the pantry, guide
residents through the line, and carry food to cars. Volunteers share fellowship with the community members who come for food, strengthening the church’s engagement with their neighbors. The parish also collects donations, including in-kind gifts such as additional food and toiletries.
Kathleen Gaul, who coordinates the volunteers for St. Paul’s pantry, says that residents are extremely appreciative of the service they provide and that the volunteers benefit emotionally and spiritually from participating in the program. A portion of the funds contributed to the Bishop’s Annual Appealhelp to support this collaborative effort. For more information about Episcopal Community Services or to make a gift to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, please visit dohio.org/give-now
or contact Betty Kondrich