Our Lady Queen of Angels (OLQA) and the Knights of Columbus traditionally hold two food drives every year, but due to the increased needs as a result of COVID-19, the church has already completed seven, with plans for two more each month until the need slows down.
The next food drive is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 4 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the parish center parking lot, 2046 Mar Vista Dr., Newport Beach.
Any type of food dry donation is welcome (rice, bean, macaroni and cheese, food can, etc). Examples include canned tuna, peanut butter, jelly, canned fruit, refried beans, canned pasta, granola bars, canned chili, canned or dry soups, cereal, dry pasta or rice, macaroni and cheese, and pasta sauce.
“Church services inside may have been paused, but the world still needs us, so we are moving back outside and continuing to serve a world in need,” said Father Steve Sallot, pastor of Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church.
Our Lady Queen of Angels and The Knights of Columbus, a global Catholic fraternal service order, have held food drives for years, but the high demand has been this year. The food drives give the parish community an avenue to support the high demand for food donations in Orange County, with the primary recipients being Catholic Charities of Orange County, and Serving People in Need (SPIN).
The average for food drives in the past was delivery of about 3,000 pounds of food and roughly $1,000 in donations, but during the seven drives this year, more than 13,000 pounds has been delivered and $6,6000 has been donated.
The parish community has been very generous and the church goal is to push beyond delivering 20,000 pound and donations of $10,000.
The mission of The Catholic Charities of OC is “to serve people in need, strengthen family and community, support parish communities, and to extend God’s love to all.”
“We were informed that Catholic Charities of OC was supporting four times the families than they were in March and needed more donations,” said Michael Tijerino, Program Coordinator at Catholic Charities of OC.
“Even our less fortunate parishioners understood this theme and brought something to be a part of the drives,” said Clayton Baum, Knights of Columbus Grand Knight. “One young boy, probably 5 or 6 years old, brought two boxes of mac and cheese and said, they were his, but we could have them.”
Since 1987, SPIN has been helping the homeless and working poor through quality programs and services centered on building self-sufficiency.
“Thank you so much for including SPIN in your food drives,” said Kim Fraser, the SPIN Director of Events and Volunteer Services. “We really appreciate it, especially during this difficult time. It means so much to our families.”
Not only is food desperately needed and appreciated, but the cash donations given to SPIN also help many people to pay rent.
The focus of the fund drives has been on getting the local community to support the broader community of those with the greatest needs. To meet the continued high demand for donations, community members are invited to drive through the Parish Center Parking lot this Sunday, Oct. 4, to drop off items. Additional dates for drop-offs will be announced. Check the website for future dates and details www.olqa.org.
Cindy can be reached at [email protected].