In the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, Most Blessed Sacrament in Franklin Lakes came together to support a local charity with a parish-wide food drive. As a result, two truck-loads of non-perishable food items were delivered on May 5 to the St. Vincent DePaul Food Pantry at the Holy Trinity Church in Hackensack.
Under ordinary circumstances, MBS supports the Hackensack food pantry with a monthly delivery of donated food that coincides with the second Sunday of the month. Because of the closure of houses of worship throughout New Jersey in mid-March, donations to many food pantries have either diminished or disappeared, and have done so at a time when the current pandemic has made the need that much greater. Since MBS had been unable to make its own deliveries in March and April, the parish decided to stage a one-day food drive that would provide the St. Vincent DePaul Pantry with an infusion of cereal, pasta and canned goods.
Parishioners were asked to drop off their donations in the church parking lot from 3 to 5 p.m. Outfitted with gloves and masks, several MBS families unloaded groceries and paper goods from the trunks of donors as they waited in their cars and spoke, from a safe distance, with MBS pastor Father John Job.
In the end, more than 150 parishioners dropped off food donations that completely filled each of two trucks donated by Corrado’s Supermarket in Wayne and the Market Basket in Franklin Lakes. All of the items collected were immediately driven to Hackensack so that the pantry, which is directed by Vilma Sonntag, could make them available for distribution during the weekend of May 8-10.
Michael DeMarco, whose family coordinates the collection and delivery of MBS food donations during the year, expressed no surprise at the show of support from the parish.
“The response of the MBS community to our request for assistance to those in need during this very difficult time was nothing short of overwhelming,” he said. “Events such as this remind us of the reality that there are people living in our very own community who are not as fortunate as we are and who are going hungry each and every day. As it always does, the MBS community has responded.”
Father John agreed, saying, “The ‘drive in-food drive’ showed that when people are motivated by a common mission for the good, great things can happen. It was wonderful to see so many of our parishioners and friends who wanted to help the cause. Though the donors may not have seen it because we were wearing masks, the volunteers all had smiles on their faces, witnessing the generosity of so many. The day proved to be a testament to the fact that the mission of Most Blessed Sacrament is alive and well as we are 'called to be a witness to God’s love in our world.'"