Social Concerns report – St Francis: 31 August 2021

By: Esther K Malia and James Macdonald

1. Feeding a hungry and displaced community

The continued success of St Francis’ weekend feeding scheme is largely due to the commitment and support of parishioners and members of the community. Thanks to them, the weekend feeding scheme has become a place for social as well as well spiritual nourishment. Those who are served are always grateful for the food – be it peanut butter sandwiches, boiled eggs and fruit, or the steaming hot soup we distribute in the winter months. But the need is great, and many come hoping for more – for clothing, shoes, counselling, ID’s, money, and other forms of assistance. We are immensely grateful to our donors, who continue to donate food or give cash donations, and to the volunteers who assist with preparation, serving, security/control and cleaning.

Approximately 90-150 people are served on Saturdays and Sundays, thanks to the dedication and care of the St Francis weekend feeding scheme team. This is our way of sharing Christ’s love, and also of recognising Christ in those we serve.

“For I was hungry, and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.” Matt 25:55-36

Saturday 28 August 2021 Weekend feeding.


A Big Thank you for the support!!

  • To St Francis Youth, and those learners from Parktown Girls, St Johns, Radford House, St David’s and other schools who have volunteered and served in various capacities.
  • To the parishioners and community members who assist with supervision, service and security/control.
  • To the Essop family, for faithfully donating 38 Loaves of Bread, supplied weekly by Rashid Paruk of A Loaf of Hope.
  • To St Francis social concerns budget, for generously subsidizing 12 additional loaves of bread, bringing the weekly total to 50.
  • To the parishioners and community members, who ensure that additional loaves are purchased to cover any shortfalls, and for keeping the freezer stocked with reserves.
  • To all our volunteers and donors who bring additional bread, eggs, fruit, polony and peanut butter.
  • To Laurel and Darryl for assisting in purchasing additional items required for the weekend feeding scheme.
  • To Donne Duffy, for preparing special meals at least twice monthly.
  • To the learners who brought milk, tea bags, sugar and many cans of tinned food for the weekend feeding scheme.

Lockdown Level 4 posed a serious challenge to the weekend feeding scheme. Nevertheless, a committed team ensured that from 3 July – 1st August 2021, feeding was carried out in three remote stations, outside the Church and at Zoo Lake.

Photos: click HERE to view

2. Shoes, blankets, clothes, Other

We have continued to receive generous donations of clothing and shoes, many of them in very good condition.  We continue to distribute clothes and shoes to individuals in need. All distributions are logged, allowing the team to review what items were distributed when, and to whom.

On 18 August 2021, twenty-three Women from Alexander and forty-two from Zoo Lake and its surrounds were supplied with clothing. Thank you to the parishioners and the community whose donations made this possible!

Women from Alexander and Men from Zoo Lake and surroundings take turns to select clothing on 18 August 2021

Many thanks to Eliza, Isaac, Fabian, and Laurel for the assistance with the distribution and set-up.

St Francis, St Columbus, Parkview Residents Association (PRA) Blanket Drive 2021.

1412 Blankets were purchased though the Rotary Club. The blanket drive benefited twenty-five community-based organizations, shelter houses and our weekend feeding scheme.

Click here to listen to Caryl Kelly, Chairman of the PRA, as she speaks about the success of the Blanket Drive. You can also follow our Facebook Page at St Francis Events and St Columbus for more information on these Outreach Initiatives.

St Francis Youth and Learners of Parktown Girls and St Johns assist with distributing blankets on 31 May 2021.

St Francis, St Columbus, PRA Shoe Drive – 15th to 31 August 2021.

The community is currently running a shoe drive for men, the shoe drive will benefit most needy, and the cash donations will be going towards school shoes.

3. Shower Facility

After some delay due to lockdown conditions, the Shower Project officially opened on Wednesday, 25th August 2021. We are thrilled to announce that forty-two people enjoyed use of the shower facility on Wednesday and Friday respectively. A huge thanks to all the individuals who generously contributed to the reopening of the St. Francis Shower Project, through cash and toiletry donations. An official thanks you letter will be sent out to all those individuals who contributed (and continue to contribute) to the shower project.

Isaac Nkunika the facility Manager handing out toiletries and towels.

Many thanks to Drew Forrest who has assisted with the shower drive fundraising.

Note: On 26 August 2021, during the community church meeting, St Columbus informed the team of the plans to support with funding the shower drive. The proposal has been sent to the executive office.

For donations to the Shower Drive please see banking details below

Bank: Standard Bank
Account number: 000496502
Account name: Parkview St Francis
Branch: 000205
Reference: Shower Facility

Shower drive images

5. Advisory office

The need for a social worker is currently under review and in discussion with the church and community.

PRA has employed one man from the feeding scheme to work with the PRA street cleaning team, with reference given by the social concerns portfolio.

A big thank you to the Clergy, church wardens, parish council and office, Laurel, the service team (Isaac and Eliza), the parishioners and committee members for assisting in so many ways to ensure the social concerns portfolio runs smoothly.

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