Церква Надає Допомогу Потребуючим в Час Епідемії Коронавірусу
Struggling for the Basic Food Items: UOC of the USA & the Salt Foundation
Distribute Food for Those in Need
"I have four children at home, my husband lost his work, I am still working and we cannot afford to go much into the stores and to be honest we are afraid to," said Beverly, a local Franklin Township resident, picking up food in the parking lot of the Spiritual Center of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, many people across the country experience food insecurity for the first time in their life.
On Wednesday afternoons of each week (from 1-3PM), it's not uncommon to see people lining up in their vehicles for a food distribution in the parking lot of the Spiritual Center of the Church in Franklin Township, NJ. The distribution is done as part of the SALT Foundation Charitable Pop-Up Food Pantry Drive program. They go into various community areas in order to provide access to food items for those in need of assistance.
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA partnered with the SALT Foundation (Mrs. Claudia Lewis – president) for a mass food distribution at the Ukrainian Cultural Center of the Metropolia of the UOC of the USA in South Bound Brook/Somerset, NJ.
On a sunny May 13, 2020 Wednesday morning, volunteers joined their voices in prayer, led by His Eminence Archbishop Daniel, asking the Grace of the Holy Spirit to flow through their hands as they offer themselves in the service of the Risen Lord by preparing packages of fresh food items in order to distribute them for those in need in times of COVID-19 pandemic.
The charitable effort provided 200 families with organic produce, canned goods, eggs and cheeses, meat and fish products.
The helpers and volunteers take complete care of social distance, distribute essentials while wearing masks and gloves in hands.
Speaking with the volunteers and Mrs. Claudia Lewis of the SALT Foundation, His Eminence Archbishop Daniel said that “…in this time of crisis, we have to live with mutual support and look after those that struggle in our local communities. People are out of work right now and this I feel gives them a sense that we care. To help sincerely and generously in the time of need, is the sign of a meaningful life as well as the true meaning of humanity. The place of Christian virtues and ideals is far above material concerns."
"You guys are taking a big risk coming to pass out all this food in a time like this when we're supposed to stay in, so we're just really grateful you guys took the time to do this," said Zack, picking up two bags of groceries for his family and a neighbor.
Maureen Nevins, manager of the Ukrainian Cultural Center said that she hopes people left the distribution site with a sense that we're all in this together.
"Don't lose faith, don't lose hope and if you need help please reach out," greeted Vladyka Daniel elderly Mary, behind the wheel of her car.
Once again, speaking on behalf of Metropolitan Antony and members of the Consistory of the Church, the archbishop stated: “We must always look for the opportunities to serve in the Name of the Lord, especially in these difficult times. Our profound gratitude to the following individuals of the Spiritual Center: Maureen Nevins - manager of the Ukrainian Cultural Center, Troy O'Prandy, Ihor and Mariya Morozovska – staff of the Ukrainian Cultural Center; Rev. Fr. Vasyl Pasakas – Executive Assistant to Archbishop Daniel and Dean of Students of St. Sophia Seminary; seminarians Subdeacon Yaroslav Bilohan, Subdeacon Myroslav Mykytyuk,Pavlo Vysotskyi, Andrii Vatrich and Maksym Zhuravchuk; to the staff volunteers of the Salt Foundation of NJ: Mrs. Claudia Lewis – president; Norma Hughes – volunteer and Ms. Joanne Hala – for providing the handmade masks for distribution.”
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA offers her support to the ministry of the Salt Foundation in fulfilling the mission to develop the following program to help feed the hungry in central New Jersey. Each week, we CCD:
+ Coordinate with supermarkets and other food suppliers to arrange pickup times and locations
+ Collect food that would otherwise go to waste
+ Deliver that food in a timely basis to homeless and women’s shelters, churches, food pantries, food drives, and other groups and individuals who need help the most.
In addition, the SALT Foundation collects and delivers books, clothes, supplies, and other educational goods and services to the children and adults in need.
For more information, visit THE SALT FOUNDATION: http://www.thesaltfoundationinc.org/
If you are in need of assistance (food items) or know someone who needs help,
please VISIT THE SPIRITUAL Center of the UOC of the USA
(135 Davidson Ave; Somerset, NJ 08873)
on Wednesday - 20 May, 2020
from 1-3pm (or until all food distributed).
Photos by Subdeacon Yaroslav Bilohan