There is a hunger emergency going on in our state right now as a result of the pandemic and the large number of people who have lost their jobs. Bishop Hughes reminds us that one of the ways that we love our neighbors is to help them have enough food to eat. (Time: 3:48.)
This is Bishop Hughes in the Diocese of Newark. We've been talking off and on all through the pandemic about the ways that we love our neighbors. And right now, one of the ways that we love our neighbors is to help them have enough food to eat.
There is a hunger emergency going on in our state right now. It's a result of pandemic and the large number – record number – of people who have lost their jobs. And the financial pressure that resulted from that has created food insecurity amongst people who have not ever been food insecure before. It also has created a level of pressure on the organizations that provide meals and provide food for households. And as every organization scrambles to double or triple the number of people they serve, they have run into obstacles along the way. Some of this will eventually sort itself out, but one thing that seems quite clear is there is a pressing need that is going to remain in place for a long period of time as the pandemic continues in our area.
And so I come to you asking how you can help with hunger. I have some ideas and one of them is quite simple. Many of our parishes have some sort of feeding ministry, and I've asked our parishes to let us know how they're doing and if they could use some help from the rest of the diocese. They're excited to get some help from all of us, and so every week in this newsletter we'll focus on a different parish. This week, the very first one, is St. Andrew's in Newark. And they're a perfect example of exactly what has happened: the need in their area increased, their income did not increase, as a matter of fact it decreased as members of the congregation lost their jobs, and the shelves in their pantry are completely bare. They're not able to help anyone at the moment and the need continues to be as pressing.
Each week those parishes that have a food ministry will tell us how they're doing and they'll also be specific with us about ways that we can help, whether it is our financial resources or whether we can volunteer for them or they could use someone to make phone calls to leave a word of cheer with people – however they could use help they are going to let us know what it is we can do.
And I think all of us are reminded in this, of the number of times that Jesus asked his followers to feed the sheep, take care of my people in essence. Please make sure they are not hungry, not hungry for food, not hungry for friendship, not hungry for God, but all of these things are ways that we address hunger. But this first one, the hunger for food, is a pressing one in our diocese right now. So I invite you each week to consider how you can help. And I hope at the end of every night that every single one of us as, we say our prayers, can also look back on the day and see that yes indeed, we helped someone to have something to eat and when we did that we took care of one of God's people.