Meals for the Homeless
A new meal ministry to feed the homeless in downtown Newport News is now active and held on Saturdays at Trinity United Methodist Church. Grace volunteers rotate for duty every three weeks with volunteers from the local Unitarian and Methodist churches.
The pandemic has changed the method of service from sit-down to to-go boxes, but the basics are still the same: A team from Grace assembles the separate elements of the lunchtime meal, in the Trinity kitchen pre-pandemic and our own kitchens since. These meals are served to between 25 and 40 guests, including families with children.
If you feel called to be part of this ministry in its present form by providing some part of a meal, please contact Elizabeth O’Brien at email@example.com so that you can be added to our list.
York County Food Closet
Grace has provided groceries to vulnerable families in York County and Poquoson for more than 40 years through regular donations of canned goods and financial support to the York County Food Closet, an outreach ministry of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. The ministry has grown over the years and Grace is now one of the most consistent and largest single donors through parishioner donations and, more recently, food drives by our youth. As hunger continues to rise locally, help expand our efforts to put food on the tables of our neighbors in need by bringing canned goods to the Parish Hall, volunteering to deliver our donations to the Food Closet or simply making a monetary donation through our website’s online portal.
When we return to in-person worship, bring in your canned goods on “Red Wagon Sunday,” typically the second Sunday of each month.
We have a weekly commitment to help feed students from Yorktown Middle School who are living in poverty. Despite state programs like supplemental nutrition assistance, there are many local families who do not have adequate resources to provide basic food for their children. Children who have been found to meet poverty guidelines receive free breakfast and lunch while at school. When school is not in session (weekends, breaks and summer, in addition to the pandemic) those resources are not available and Grace’s ministry fills the gap. We are always in need of financial resources or non-perishables for the backpacks. Won’t you join in supporting this ministry? Contact Alice Frady for more information, 757-890-9302.
Grace members have been serving the homeless through PORT (People Offering Resources Together, a program of LINK of Hampton Roads) for more than 20 years. This program offers emergency winter shelter through interfaith collaboration. Grace rotates with several other churches to staff the overnight shelter and prepare meals for those who need a warm, safe place to eat and sleep during the winter months. Volunteer opportunities range from donating food to staffing overnight and preparing meals. Please sign up for this important ministry if you are called to serve and witness the community’s most fragile brothers and sisters.
Rise Against Hunger
Grace hosts a Rise Against Hunger meal packing event at our Parish Hall each spring to package 10,152 meals in a single afternoon for shipment to locations across the globe. Rise Against Hunger, an international hunger relief organization mobilizing to end hunger by 2030, brings in bulk food and equipment for packaging. Grace pays for the food, which costs just 34 cents per meal, and provides the volunteers. Volunteers from the nearby Yorktown U.S. Coast Guard Training Center have lent heart and hands to help with these events. This ministry is a fun “done in an afternoon” event great for all ages. Keep an eye out for the next packing event – our eighth – and sign up in advance to be part of Team Grace. Bring your friends!
Society of St. Andrews Gleaning
Grace volunteers join others to “glean” local farmers’ fields – that is, to pick what remains of a farmer’s crop for distribution to local food banks. The Society of St. Andrews coordinates the volunteers, then arranges transport of gleaned crops to food banks that turn around distribution within 48 hours of gleaning.