By Rachel Smith
Volunteers decked Sunday’s Bread tables at the Church of St. John the Evangelist, Sunday Dec. 9. Gravy blanketed meatloaf. Salad and chocolate chip cookies offered health and a bit of indulgence. The volunteers prepared this meal and dressed the tables for a holiday party.
The feast was light hearted despite somber news for non-profit hunger and government organizations.
Massachusetts scored low marks on food security in this year’s Project Bread status report card. Food insecurity increased over 43 percent since 2008, the report said.
In the weeks leading up to the holidays some food banks searched for less expensive food for their patrons.
However, Sunday’s Bread continues despite the troubling economy.
Every weekend at St. John’s a chef and volunteers cook warm, hearty and nutritious meals for Boston’s homeless. Volunteers chose a day to help, either the Saturday’s Bread team or the Sunday’s Bread team.
This Sunday was different. A local band played holiday music. Thirteen volunteers attended. This was one of the largest groups the soup kitchen has had, Kitchen Manager John Moos told volunteers before service began. The majority of volunteers were from the Hanscom Air Force Base.
Neha Patel and Airman Sunil Nair decided to volunteer together. “Neha and I have both been talking about wanting to get involved together in our community,” Nair said. “I learned about this opportunity ran it by her. She thought it was a great thing that we could do together.”
Patel thought it was significant, because of their proximity. “It’s kind of important. We live in this area,” she said. “We want to take care of the people that are here.”
Airwoman and Beacon Hill local Shannon Vonthaden agreed. “It’s perfect to be able to come and give back to my own community.” She added, “There are a lot of people here who don’t have food. So, especially during the holiday season, it’s good to give back.”
Volunteers even got to mingle with one another while preparing for the dinner.
“You get to interact with other people who kind of share your same passion of giving back and being a part of something,” said Airman Nathan Fisher. “So, it’s good to know that there are some people out there who don’t just think of themselves, but something bigger.”