WelCom December 2016:
The idea for providing parish Community Meals in New Plymouth came from a Caritas Social Justice meeting last year. We had an amazing response to our request for volunteers. People came from St Vincent de Paul Society, Catholic Women’s League, as well as other parishioners, and students from Sacred Heart Girl’s College and Francis Douglas Memorial College. They all have volunteered their on-going services to enable us to form two groups to provide free meals at 5.30pm on Thursday evenings throughout this year.
The parish provides the kitchen and supper room free of charge and St Vincent de Paul Society donates items to the kitchen and reimburses food costs so up to 60 meals an evening can be served.
The first Community Meal served in April involved 24 volunteers with meals for 50. The evening began with prayers and 20 guests came to the meal joined by the volunteers.
The spirit of generosity, friendliness and great fellowship evident among the volunteers has been commented on by many who have come for meals – body and soul are fed in equal measure.
Our ‘guest’ numbers have increased as the Community Meals are advertised in parish newsletters, St Mary’s Cathedral and City Life Church, other New Plymouth churches providing community meals, FoodBank, Men’s Shelter, Prisoners’ Aid and Rehabilitation Society, Alcoholic and Narcotics Anonymous organisations as well as through word of mouth.
The Community Meals are served every Thursday at St Joseph’s Hall supper room. Everyone is welcome to join in and are invited to donate. Please contact Bob Goodyear on (06) 929-3060 or email the parish on office@Catholicparishnp.nz for more information.