As customers pay greater costs on the gasoline station and the grocery retailer, Mark Williams needs to “SHARE” details about a money-saving meals possibility.
He’s the volunteer coordinator for the Fredericksburg area host web site for SHARE Meals Community. Administered by the Archdiocese of Washington Catholic Charities, SHARE is operated domestically via St. Jude Catholic Church, on Lee Hill Elementary Drive in Spotsylvania County.
Donations from people and companies pay for month-to-month meals bins for households in want, and about half of the greater than 40 packages that arrived at St. Jude in June went to these “attempting to stretch their ,” he stated. Williams.
Nonetheless, anybody, no matter deal with, revenue or employment standing, should buy the month-to-month groceries at what Catholic Charities says is about half the retail value, based on its web site.
For instance, the July Worth Pack is $26 and contains 5 kilos of rooster thighs, one pound of floor beef, 12 ounces of bacon, and eight to 10 kilos of contemporary vegatables and fruits. Folks should place orders by July 11, make funds by July 19, and choose up their packages on July 23 on the church. This system accepts checks, credit score and debit playing cards, EBT/SNAP advantages, money, and cash orders.
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The community additionally carries costlier objects, comparable to bins of individually wrapped, frozen rooster, fish or steak breasts.
A number of church buildings within the area fall beneath the St. Jude ordination umbrella, together with St. Matthew Catholic Church within the Spotsylvania Courthouse and Mount Olive Baptist Church in Stafford County. Volunteers from these church buildings, in addition to others like Williams, which belong to the Knights of Columbus Council 13500 Catholic charity, meet one Saturday a month on the distribution web site behind Spotsylvania Fireplace Station four, within the space. off 4 Mile Fork close to US 1 and Fredericksburg Academy.
Volunteers assist unload pallets of potatoes and bins of child broccoli, separating the portions based mostly on how a lot every church receives. Representatives from two church buildings in Woodbridge and one from Amissville in Rappahannock County additionally choose up their meals in Spotsylvania.
Then, associates with St. Jude, which moved to a brand new constructing 4 years in the past, work within the church’s kitchen to kind and bag the objects for individuals to choose up.
There’s energy in numbers, via the community’s excessive quantity of purchases and hundreds of hours of volunteer work, “which strengthens the group for all,” based on Catholic Charities.
The SHARE community has offered the month-to-month meals bins for greater than 30 years, in each good financial instances and dangerous. However there is not any query that present circumstances are “harmful,” stated Ninochika Twitty, program coordinator for SHARE’s headquarters in Landover, Maryland.
“For a lot of, this may be overwhelming, however we are able to do our half in our nook of the world,” he acknowledged within the month-to-month publication. “We are able to provide financial savings on meals that may ease the burden on somebody in your group, your house, or your church household.”
Whereas Williams repeatedly requested that the story not be about him, however about these he helps, he clearly performs a key function. He spent 30 years within the Marine Corps and one other eight working as a civilian at Marine Corps Base Quantico and was concerned with the Knights of Columbus charity for a lot of that point.
“I grew up within the Boy Scouts, so I have been a volunteer my complete life,” Williams stated, including that he likes the SHARE program and “seeing the way it helps households locally.”
He met his spouse, Sylvia, who additionally served within the Marine Corps, whereas they had been each stationed in San Diego, and she or he is the Spotsylvania SHARE volunteer web site coordinator. She passes data from the central workplace to the native operation.
She additionally speaks Spanish, which is essential given the variety of Latino households receiving coupons without spending a dime meals packages. Mark Williams additionally drives a faculty bus for Spotsylvania County and sees kids in want for himself. He works with the Spotsylvania County Division of Social Companies and with social employees at three St. Jude Parish faculties: Cedar Forest Elementary College, Lee Hill Elementary College and Thornburg Center College. He additionally encourages different bus drivers to share details about this system with these in want.
“They’ve an ideal program and Mark actually does mainly all the pieces,” stated Alex Smith, a faculty social employee at Cedar Forest. “Actually, all I do is give him an inventory of names each month.”
And there are all the time too many names to placed on the record, he stated.
“To be sincere, it all the time looks like there’s an enormous want,” Smith stated. “There has by no means been a pause, there’s by no means some extent the place there aren’t any wants.”
Extra details about this system, together with distribution websites in Washington, Maryland and Virginia, is offered on-line at catholiccharitiesdc.org/share. St. Jude Catholic Church, the host web site for the Fredericksburg area, is at 9600 Caritas St. in Spotsylvania.
For extra data on buying packages or making donations, please contact Mark Williams at 540/834-7710. Spanish audio system can contact Sylvia Williams at 540/834-7940.
Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425