October 1, 2022 | Local News
Fr. Stephen Van Lal Than

Seen are several shelves in St. Stephen Cathedral’s extensive food pantry. COURTESY OF EDDY MCFARLAND

Disciples Response Fund helps cathedral feed hungry neighbors


St. Stephen Cathedral recently utilized a $3,000 grant from the Disciples Response Fund to fund their Cathedral Food Pantry. The active food pantry is utilized on a daily basis and staff has seen the need increasing.

In the first two months of the cathedral’s fiscal year, more than $15,000 was spent on purchasing non-perishable food items.

Up until recently, they had not kept track of exactly how many were served through the food pantry. But in the month of August, cathedral staff began asking everyone who requested food for their first name. The purpose of obtaining first names was so that the staff could pray for each person by name during weekly staff meetings. Just during the week of Aug. 15, they served 142 people in need of food. The following week, they served more than 186 individuals.

Currently the food pantry functions with the assistance of parishioners who make financial contributions; a volunteer who makes grocery store trips several times a week to keep the food pantry stocked; volunteers who bag groceries in the office several times a week, ensuring that the bags of food are ready to be handed out the door upon request; and volunteers and staff who distribute the food to those in need.

Staff has observed that visitors to the food pantry are from all different walks of life, and that not everyone has the means to cook or prepare food. Staff and volunteers bag groceries that can be prepared/cooked or ready-to-eat so that visitors are able to receive food according to visitors’ needs.

The Disciples Response Fund is the annual appeal of the Diocese of Owensboro and provides grants for parish, Catholic school, Catholic organizations and others seeking to further the Gospel of Jesus by helping those in spiritual or physical need. Learn how to help at https://owensborodiocese.org/give-disciples-response-fund/.

Originally printed in the October 2022 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.

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