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St. Mark's workday, February 3, 2024 - reorganizing our pantry.

In May 2023, St. Mark’s London held its first monthly Food Pantry Day, serving  less than 20 individuals.  For the next several months we were having fewer and fewer clients showing up and we started to think perhaps this wasn’t the best outreach for our church. 

Did we read our neighborhood needs incorrectly, did we not promote the pantry well enough? There were so many questions but no answers. 

When in September we started getting food out  to those in need through our grass roots network, our thought was and still is, “it doesn’t matter how it gets to those who need it as long as it gets to them”.  We are now reaching over 2000 people per month through our network and pantry.

We serve people within  a 10-block radius of our church directly every third Thursday of the month  and across the city with the help of others, almost daily.  Some Sundays we have care packages available for 15 clients, this depends on what we have received the week before. This ranges from meal kits to simple fruits and vegetables.  We supply snacks to nearby schools; through youth workers we have supplied food to young people living on the streets with HIV; through case workers we are getting food to  Street Level Women at Risks. 

We share our food with St. Paul’s Social Services and the Church of Ascension here in London. Church of Ascension has the people power to cook and deliver meals, we have the ability to get food, and together we are reaching many people in need.

We have started the conversation on how we can better serve our community by working together, currently we have  6 churches. (Food Insecurity Network)

We are able to help others because others have helped us.  We have been blessed with many gifts from many groups and organizations.  The ACW has been very generous with their gift; Deanery of London has supported us again this year, and the support we are receiving from the Diocese of Huron – Church House  has been amazing.

From all of us at St. Mark’s, thank you to everyone who has been involved with our outreach project.

Helen Booth