Breaking Bread with the Hungry
We broke bread with 210 guests at the rehearsal dinner for the Wedding of The Lamb.
A man and a woman from Friends Of The Homeless National Resource Center brought several boxes of clothes and blankets which were greatly appreciated.
When I sat down to eat, the guests at my table were talking about what a great city Baltimore is for homeless people. One man said that other cities make it difficult or even illegal to be homeless. Another explained that because the basilica on Cathedral Street was the first Catholic church in America, the Archdiocese of Baltimore had the most services for homeless people. While I was dubious about some of his facts, I was pleased that he was grateful for the help he received from the Catholic Church.
This Sunday’s [3rd Sunday of Lent] first reading from Exodus has the Israelites complaining “Is the Lord in our midst or not?” Do we sometimes ask that too? While some of our guests are rude, obscene, argumentative and just plain unpleasant, most are polite, considerate and grateful. So much of the time seeing Christ in them is not difficult. The same reading has God say, “I will be standing there in front of you.” Christ is indeed standing in front of us when we serve the poor, whether we know He is in our midst or not.
Driver still needed for Breaking Bread with the Hungry
We have a pressing need for a driver to take the main food to St. Vincent’s once a month on the first Friday. The driver needs a van or SUV since there is a fair amount of food to transport. You need to arrive at OLF around 3:15 pm, load up (people are there to help), drive to St. Vincent’s, and then return the coolers and pots to OLF after the dinner is served. You should arrive back at OLF by 7 pm. If you can help, please contact Dave Luddy at email@example.com or 410-987-6562. Thanks for your support to this important ministry.
MINISTRY MISSION STATEMENT
Our weekly meal with poor and homeless people in Baltimore flows from our celebration of the Eucharist. Providing a meal allows us to satisfy the very real physical hunger of many of our guests who often get only one meal a day. It also gives us a reason to get to know people whose lives, because of their poverty, are especially blest and precious in God’s eyes.
We honor the dignity and value the friendship of the men, women and children with whom we share a meal each Friday evening and in whose faces we see the face of Christ. We hope to enrich their lives by treating them with a respect they seldom find on the streets of Baltimore.
We too are enriched by their companionship on our pilgrim way toward the Kingdom of God.
BREAKING BREAD WITH THE HUNGRY
The term “Breaking Bread” is used in Acts to refer to the Eucharist. Our mission statement explicitly says our mission flows from the Eucharist. The term “The Hungry” excludes no one. We are all hungry. We are born hungry. In addition to hunger for food, we all hunger for acceptance and love. The term also includes Jesus who said, “I was hungry and you gave me to eat.” Whether we prepare the food, serve it or eat it, we are all “The Hungry”.
Deacon Ed Stoops
In the Beginning:
The story of the Breaking Bread with the Hungry Ministry began in the late 1980s. One very cold “code blue” winter night, Deacon Ed Stoops, his wife Francine, and daughter Kate heard a televised news cast pleading for warm blankets and/or coats for the Baltimore homeless. They quickly responded, following the instructions to deliver the warmth goods to Baltimore City Hall. Their knocks on all the doors finally found a janitor who revealed a room full of warmth goods. An inquiry revealed that there was no one to deliver the coats and blankets that evening. Realizing that the need to distribute these items was immediate, Kate offered to make distribution. The janitor said he couldn’t give them the items, but could accidentally leave the door open as he continued his rounds. The Stoops loaded their car and drove around Baltimore distributing blankets and coats to those in need. As they distributed the coats and blankets someone asked for hot coffee. They returned the following Friday night with hot coffee. And so it started, every Friday night going to Baltimore to serve sandwiches and hot coffee. After awhile a suggestion was made that they stay at one location and those being served would come to them. The Breaking Bread with the Hungry Ministry started on the sidewalk across the street from city hall. Every Friday night for about the next 10 years about 40 folks were served a hot meal and given a “goody bag” to go. Eventually the ministry was asked not to serve on the sidewalk area and the poor were vacated from the park. An area near the Jones Falls Expressway, diagonally across the street from the jail, was provided to serve the meal. During the next 5 years the ministry continued to serve a hot meal and to distribute a “goody bag” to about 80 guests.
The news of the Breaking Bread with the Hungry Ministry spread. The guests raved about the great meal being served. The number of guests continued to grew. Recognizing a need, the pastor at St Vincent de Paul Church on Front Street offered the church under-croft in which to serve the meal. This move enabled the ministry to respectfully serve up to 325 people each week. Besides the volunteers from Our Lady of the Fields and St. Vincent de Paul, many other communities, Christian and Muslim, donated their time and talents.
Every Friday at 5 pm those in Baltimore needing nourishment are provided a hot meal, refreshing beverage, and dessert within an atmosphere of peace in the under-croft of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church on Front Street. As the guests depart the facility they are given a “goody bag” containing a sandwich, snack items, fruit, and a bottle of water. On the Fourth Friday of the month, Threaded Cross gives each guest a pair of socks. During the summer months fresh vegetables from the Care for Creation Ministry’s straw bale garden are made available.
Hair cuts are given and donated clothing and toiletries are laid out for the taking.
Each week, over 100 volunteers donate food items and cash, make casseroles, make sandwiches, prepare the hot meal, deliver the food to St. Vincent’s, serve the guests, and clean up. Whatever is not donated, Our Lady of the Fields purchases.
Volunteers are Needed as Follows:
Transport/Delivery – Currently there is a need for volunteers to deliver the food items to Baltimore each week. We have 5 drivers, but would like to lighten the commitment to only 1 or 2 Fridays each month and also for back up. At least 2 vans are needed each week to deliver all the OLF donated food items and heated entrées and casseroles. The drivers leave Our Lady of the Fields about 3:15. The drivers can drop off the food and supplies and return, after making arrangements to return and clean all the coolers. John and Joan Hoppa normally take care of the coolers. John Hoppa is the coordinator of the delivery service, please see the contact list below.
Serving – Servers are always welcome. To serve our Baltimore guests, every youth must be accompanied by a parent, arrive at St. Vincent’s by 4 pm to assist in setting up and preparing the “goody bags”. We begin serving the meal at 5 pm. The guests come into the hall in an organized manner and proceed along 2 serving lines. Servers assist at the dessert tables where the guests pick out their own dessert. Servers also refresh the drink table and clean the food trays when the guests complete their meal. Clean up follows and we are usually completed around 6 to 6:30. We have drivers leaving Our Lady of the Fields each Friday at 3:15 should you care to follow them to Baltimore. Or, perhaps you would like to put your name on the list for back up delivery service, see above.
Casseroles – Prepare and cook a casserole in a 9 x 13 alum pan to supplement the main entrée above. A casserole of your choosing with lots of protein will suffice, note a preference for non-pork casseroles on the 2nd week. Bring the casserole to Our Lady of the Field’s kitchen by 2 pm on Friday so it can be re-heated and delivered to Baltimore. Deliveries prior to 2 pm can be left in the OLF kitchen refrigerator. Please review the section on drop off times. Cover your casserole with aluminum and mark the top with “Fri”, the date and brief disclosure of the contents, i.e. contains nuts or pork or other important information that needs to be revealed. We have, in the past, put casseroles in the oven and later found out there was a salad inside.
If you like, we have a casserole team leader for the 1st, 2nd and 4th Friday to remind the folks via email who have committed to making a casserole on that particular week. If you are interested in receiving an email reminder, contact the appropriate person on the contact list. There is a kitchen assistant each week to organize everything to take to Baltimore and to heat the entrées and casseroles.
Main Dish Donations: Below is a list of the main dish for each week of the month. Donations of any of the main dish items can be made at any time, placing the item(s) in the freezer at Our Lady of the Fields. Mark the package “Fri” with the date.
First Friday – 8 64oz. bags of frozen prepared meat balls in Italian marinara sauce with 240 hoagie rolls to make meatball subs
Second Friday – 10 64 oz. Frozen containers cooked pulled pork and 240 hamburger buns
Third Friday – 480 All Beef Franks and 480 hot dog rolls
Fourth Friday – 500 chicken drumsticks plus10 containers 64oz. frozen Stouffers Mac and Cheese and/or Stouffers Lasagna
Fifth Friday – OLPH Choice
Staple Donations – Most items are donated. Current needs are highlighted red.
Perishables – Place in OLF refrigerator marked “Fri” with the date Week(s) Needed
10 pounds shredded mozzarella cheese 1
10 pounds shredded cheddar cheese 3
2 large containers soft margarine for buttered bread 1,2,3,4
8 large bags tossed salad with dressing 1
8 large bags cole slaw 2
8 large containers potato salad 3
2 large pots chili 3
8 doz. Hard Boiled Eggs to supplement already donated quantities 1,2,3,4
Protein filled casseroles 9 x 13 aluminum pans, no pork week 2 1,2,4
225 sandwiches for “goody bag”s, individually wrapped 1
300 sandwiches for “goody bag”s, individually wrapped 2
400 sandwiches for “goody bag”s, individually wrapped 3
400 sandwiches for “goody bag”s, individually wrapped 4
200 sandwiches for “goody bag”s, individually wrapped 5
Non-Perishables – Place on OLF shelving by the back door of the kitchen
6 #10 cans vegetables or baked beans 2,3,4
6 #10 cans fruit cocktail or sliced peaches 1,3,4
2 super-size cans powdered iced tea or lemonade 1,2,3,4
6 large boxes of individual assorted chips 3
2 large bottles each ketchup and mustard 3
10 doz peanut butter crackers for “goody bag”s 1,2,3,4,5
10 doz peanut butter crackers for “goody bag”s 1,2,3,4,5
10 doz granola bars for “goody bag”s 1,2,3,4,5
10 doz granola bars for “goody bag”s 1,2,3,4,5
10 doz packs of cookies for “goody bag”s 1,2,3,4,5
10 doz packs of cookies for “goody bag”s 1,2,3,4,5
Place on the floor by OLF shelving by the back door of the kitchen
20 bunches of bananas 1,2,3,4,5
5 cases bottled water 1,2,3,4,5
Desserts – Desserts are being donated, but feel it would be helpful to have a commitment for weekly pies, cakes, brownies, and cookies. Please contact Ellen Draper. See the contact list below.
Paper Products – As of this writing Our Lady of the Fields is paying for all the paper products. Donations of any of the items listed below would be greatly appreciated. Please place your donation on the shelving units at the back door of the kitchen at OLF. Dave Luddy is the contact for paper products. See the contact list below.
Paper supplies used for Breaking Bread with the Hungry Ministry
|Item||Number needed each month||Current source|
|Supplies used by our guests:|
|Plastic knife, fork and spoon (must be individually wrapped with napkin included)||1200||Webstaurant.com|
|8 3/4 inch paper plates (must be strong enough to hold dinner with hand on one side of plate)||1200||Costco|
|6 inch plates (cheapest available)||1200||Webstaurant.com|
|5 oz paper cold cups||1200||Costco|
|12 oz. paper cold cups||1200||Costco|
|11×17 paper for placemats (white or any color)||1000||Office Supply King.com|
|Salt||Box of 1000 packets||Webstaurant.com|
|Pepper||Box of 1000 packets||Webstaurant.com|
|Tinfoil sheets||One box||Costco|
|Supplies used by the servers/staff:||One box of 80||Costco|
|55 gal trash can liners||One box||Webstaurant.com|
|Clear poly gloves – large||One box||Webstaurant.com|
|Clear poly gloves – medium||One box of 1000||Costco|
|Thank you bags||1/2 roll||Webstaurant.com|
|Table cloth rolls (40″ wide by 300 ft)||4 rolls||Costco|
|Paper towels||6 rolls||Costco|
|Toilet paper||3 rolls||Walmart|
|Hand sanitizer||2 bottles|
|Roll of heavy duty aluminum foil||One large roll||Costco|
|9 x 13 Aluminum Pans||One box||Costco|
Sandwiches – Sandwiches are always welcome. Currently the goal is to have 1 sandwich for each “goody bag” but we would like to put 2 in each bag. If you are interested in making sandwiches on a regular basis, please contact Susan Burns. Refrain from using mayonnaise base spreads and/or ingredients during warmer months. Sandwiches need to be individually wrapped in sandwich zip lock baggies and placed back into the bread sleeves for ease in transport. Please review the section on drop off times
At St. Vincent’s – Making up the “goody bag”s and View from the dessert table to the Serving Area
Group Volunteers – Should a group of volunteers choose to volunteer together to prepare a Friday night menu or part of the menu, contact Joan Hoppa firstname.lastname@example.org or Peggy Meyer email@example.com or Ellen Draper firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cash Donations – Cash donations are always welcome to cover the cost of paper products and all food supplies needed that are not donated. You can donate to Our Lady of the Fields, noting a gift for the Breaking Bread with the Hungry Ministry.
Timing of donations:
Casseroles/Sandwiches – Joan and John Hoppa and the kitchen assistant for the week arrive at the OLF kitchen about 2 pm each Friday. Please be sure to have your casseroles and sandwiches to the OLF kitchen no later than 2:30 pm. Come to the OLF kitchen back door and ring the bell. During the school year, the doors to the OLF hall are open from 9 am to 4 pm and in the evening when there are events in the classrooms. During the summer months or when the doors are locked, you will need to seek admittance through the parish office which is opened Monday to Friday 8:30 to 4:30. When Friday is a holiday and the parish office is closed, you’ll need to bring your items on a prior day of the week or come at 2 pm to the OLF kitchen back door.
Entrées/Other Non-Perishable Staples – Items for the freezer can be dropped off any time that there is access to the kitchen. See the casserole/sandwich section for times during the week. The kitchen is accessible during the times of Sunday and daily Masses.
Perishable Staples – Perishables can be dropped off any time there is access to the kitchen as listed above. Just be conscious of the disposal date of the item being sure to mark the item “Fri” with the date and placing the item in the OLF kitchen refrigerator, preferably the Coca-Cola refrigerator.
Directions to St. Vincent DePaul Church 120 N. Front St., Baltimore
695 Beltway towards Towson
Exit I95 North
Exit 395 towards Inner Harbor
Bear left onto Howard St. – toward the stadiums
Right onto Conway
Left at the Harbor onto St. Paul (Light Street) towards Calvert St.
Right onto Pratt St. towards Little Italy
Left onto President Street
Bear right at entrance to 83N onto Fallsway
Rear of the Church is on the right, next to the park on Fayette and Fallsway
Pull into 2nd entrance to the St. Vincent DePaul parking lot
The entrance to the church hall is down the breezeway between the rectory and the church entrance on Front St
To return home
Right on Front St. from the parking lot of the church
Right on Fayette
Left on St. Paul
Right on Conway
Left on Howard at Orioles Stadium
Onto 95 South
Deacon Ed Stoops, Coordinator Breaking Bread with the Hungry Ministry email@example.com
John Hoppa, Delivery Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org 410-768-1284
Joan Hoppa, Kitchen Coordinator email@example.com 410-768-1284
Ellen Draper, Menu Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org (410) 788-9415 (home) and (410) 887-3113 (work)
Peggy Meyer, Facility Coordinator email@example.com 978-994-9638
Mary Pratt, 1st Friday Casserole Coordinator MLPRATT@comcast.net
Susan Harvey-Roundy, 4th Friday Casserole Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Burns, Communications/2nd Fri Casserole Coordinator email@example.com 410-245-0890
Dave Luddy, Paper Products Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for volunteering and being Christ to the poor.
Blessings and all good to you and your family,
The Breaking Bread with the Hungry Ministry