Social Concerns and outreach programs
By: Esther Karimi Malia
Feeding the masses
The continued success of St Francis weekend feeding initiative is mainly due to the dedication, commitment and support of parishioners and members of the community. This year, we have been fortunate to have St Francis Youth and learners from Parktown High School for Girls, St. Johns, King Edward VII School, Radford House and St. David School. Thank you to the learners who with honour serve the people with kindness, generosity and respect at the beautiful garden of the Church. The people who come for food are very respectful and grateful. The attitude of solidarity is continuously fostered between those who serve and those coming for food. There is adult supervision, security and control during preparation, feeding and cleaning. The church staff and adult volunteers ensure that the learners are safe until their parents/guardians come to fetch them.
The weekend feeding initiative has become a social spiritual place, where people are always grateful for the food and the support of the church in the form of clothing, shoes, counselling, assistance with ID’s and more. We are grateful to our volunteers who assist with serving, security/control as well as volunteers who make additional peanut butter sandwiches, boiled eggs, polony and donate fruit. The feeding initiative is a success because of the individuals’ commitment.
Table 1: Feeding program 2021
|Lunch Saturdays||Peanut butter sandwiches, eggs, fruit, tea, and occasionally juice|
|Lunch Sundays||Polony sandwiches, fruit, tea and occasionally juice|
|(Winter menu)||Peanut butter sandwiches, plain brown bread and soup|
Since opening the feeding on 16 January 2021, the number of people has increased with an average of 90-120 people. In reality, we currently serve at least 200 people for the weekend (Saturdays and Sundays).
This is made possible by the generous donations we receive namely:
- The Essop family donates 38 Loaves of Bread supplied by Rashid Paruk/A Loaf of Hope.
- 12 loaves of bread subsidized by the social concerns budget to make a total of 50.
- 26 loaves of bread brought by parishioners/local communities that cover the shortfall.
- 15 loaves of bread reserve in the church freezer since January for any shortfall or when a volunteer is unable to bring the bread
- At least twice monthly, Donne Duffy prepares a special meal and toiletries – last special meal was on Sunday 20 March 2021.
Table 2: Weekend Feeding – Saturday and Sunday Items (per weekend)
|Bread||Essop Family – 38 Social Concerns Budget – 12 Parishioners/ local community-26||76|
|Fruits, apples, bananas, tomatoes, other seasonal fruit||Parishioners & local community||18 bags apples/or Banana|
|Sugar||Social Concerns Budget & Donation||10 Kg|
|Peanut butter||Donation & Social concerns budget||6-7 Kg|
|Milk||Donations & Social concerns budget||10 litres|
|Tea bags||Donations & Social concerns budget||250 tea bags|
St Columbus soup kitchen is on Monday to Friday between 07.30 am – 8.30 am. Currently serving between 40-45 people.
For more images on the weekend feeding scheme click the link below:
Shoes, blankets, clothes, other distributions.
This year, we have received a generous amount of clothing and shoes with the majority of them in very good condition. On 12 February 2021 we started distributing these donations with at least 47 people receiving clothes, shoes, and few blankets. Many thanks to Fabian who has gladly been assisting Esther in handing these out on Wednesdays between 10.30 am and 12.00. For more images please see link below: