All Saints has supported the MANNA Monday lunch program at the Cathedral of St. Paul since 2016, by providing a hot meal 6 times a year to our Boston neighbors who are unhoused or living on the margins. Since May of 2020, our parish households have faithfully increased our support for MANNA by providing hearty casseroles for a hearty meal every month – on the fourth Monday of the month.
The unhoused community, while always at risk, today faces unimaginable challenges as many feeding programs and support systems are diminished or closed completely. Added to that, with places like libraries closed, many search high and low throughout the day for a place to use a bathroom. Those that collect money by holding a cup out are not getting any because there are no people around to give them any. For that reason, on the days when the Cathedral is open for MANNA, there is a constant stream of people looking for food and other assistance.
The dedicated staff at the Cathedral are carrying on serving that community, albeit with restrictions about numbers of people at a time and single-serving pre-packaged food. In fact, they are not simply serving a meal on Mondays; they are part of a larger network of care, open as a day center 8-1 on Mondays and Tuesdays, serving breakfast sandwiches, distributing water and bagged lunches, giving people a place to sit, to charge their cell phones, and to use the restroom—really rising to the challenge.
The health crisis has created the need to respond in new, safe ways to provide our hot meals to the MANNA community. While we are unable to join together and serve, many of our households have stepped up to create casseroles at home for delivery to the Cathedral for our scheduled meal. In addition, All Saints has been helping with this effort by contributing money from our Outreach fund. For those of you who feel called to act, please consider making a financial contribution to MANNA. Donations of any amount can be made by going to https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/stpaulboston. Please be sure that “MANNA” is chosen as the purpose of the donation.
For those who are able to safely volunteer their time, please consider assisting with our MANNA meals. In addition, the Greater Boston Food Bank has seen a 50% increase in demand over this time last year and is looking for individual volunteers to assist them in this urgent time: https://www.gbfb.org/get-involved/volunteer/
For I was hungry, and you gave me food.