By ROB HERBST
The Catholic Week
PRICHARD — St. James Major Parish in Prichard is doing what it can to help those in need.
The parish has opened a food bank across the street from its church building in an effort to support low-income families. The project has been in the works in recent months and Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi blessed and commissioned the food bank on March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph.
“As a Church, we have to reach out to the community and be involved in their lives,” said Pastor Fr. Hyginus Boboh, S.S.J. “Even if it’s not through the sacraments, it can be through Corporal Works of Mercy. This is just one way we can reach out.”
Those receiving food only need to be of low-income. They do not need to be parishioners of St. James Major, or Catholic.
“It doesn’t matter – from the community, the Church, from anywhere. We want to serve,” Fr. Boboh said.
According to Stephanie Danzy, the food bank’s coordinator, the initial goal is to assist between 30 and 40 families with food twice a month, when the food bank will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on respective Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Volunteers hope the program will then expand.
“This is very exciting,” Danzy said. “We’re so pleased to be able to offer services like this to the community.”
Shelves were lined with potatoes, canned goods, fruit, peanut butter, pasta and other assorted items the morning it was blessed. Several volunteers and organizations helped make the food bank a reality. Catholics throughout the archdiocese also helped as the parish received a grant with donations from the annual Catholic Charities Appeal.
Archbishop Rodi also noted the significance of blessing the food bank on the Feast of St. Joseph.
Just as Joseph made a living and fed Jesus, those at St. James Major are doing the same with the food bank.
“What do you do here? We feed Jesus, we feed God, when we feed neighbor,” Archbishop Rodi remarked. “It is God that we feed. Sometimes it’s hard to recognize Jesus in each other, but it is Jesus. What an appropriate time to bless this building.”