Members of the All Saints Parish community who help prepare breakfast for their homeless neighbors in Hayward receive special recognition at the CRS Rice Bowl awards. In addition, the parish and the school received grants to help them continue their work into 2018.
MICHELE JURICH/THE CATHOLIC VOICE
Rice Bowl grants help feed the hungry
Forty-one organizations that feed the hungry in Alameda and Contra Costa counties — including 21 parish-based St. Vincent de Paul conferences — received grants totaling $32,000 from the Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowl.
The grants, which ranged from $500 to $1,000, were the result of the prayer, fasting, education and almsgiving program, that takes place each Lent. The people of the Diocese of Oakland donated $216,000 to the national collection; 75 percent went to its overseas programs, with 25 percent remaining in the diocese to distribute to those who work to meet the needs of the most vulnerable.
Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, who presented the checks to the organizations, said that although the Catholic Church's Jubilee Year of Mercy ended a year ago, "it is always a year of mercy in the Catholic Church."
"One of my goals for the diocese has been to continue the spirit of the year of mercy," he said.
The award-winners' ministries of feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked and sheltering the homeless, he said, "are shining examples of how all the members of our diocese all called to put their faith into action, and they're all things our Lord Jesus Christ has commanded us to do."
All Saints Parish in Hayward received special recognition for its work, engaging the entire parish, including young people at the school, to feed people.
Some are the gleaners, making the rounds of grocery stores that would rather donate food than let it go to the landfill; some are the cooks, preparing a hot breakfast every Tuesday morning; and there's Chuck Kennedy, who for each breakfast, walks with four All Saints School students — alternating between seventh and eight grade, to the nearby First United Methodist Church on B Street, where breakfast is served.
Kennedy helps prepare them to meet the guests they will serve. "When they were in seventh grade their dream wasn't to be homeless," he said.
In addition to the hot breakfast, the guests take home lunches prepared by the students at All Saints. The lunches include handwritten notes of encouragement.
The people who get the lunches look forward to the notes, and miss them during the summer, Kennedy said. He fields the question, "When are the kids coming back?"
The school received a Rice Bowl grant to continue a program of making lunches that was founded by third-grade teacher Marianne Landis, who has now retired. Principal Jennifer Diaz said the school will re-start the lunch-making perhaps with the third- and fourth-grade classes making the sandwiches.
The classroom's sandwiches are supplemented by "double bag lunch days," on which students bring not only their lunch to school, but another to donate.
Two students from All Saints School, Avery Pace and Zachary Lopez, attended the breakfast in uniform.
Zachary noted that before coming to the breakfast, hosted by Transfiguration Parish in Castro Valley, he had stopped at his school to drop off a lunch.
Helping feed the hungry, he said, "made me feel better because I could help people."
The outstanding parish award was presented to two ethnic pastoral centers, the St. Andrew Kim Korean Pastoral Center in Oakland and the St. Paul Chong Korean Pastoral Center in Pleasanton, for their financial support of the annual Rice Bowl collection.
The Oakland community more than doubled its Rice Bowl giving, from $1,500 in 2016 to $3,300 in 2017. The Pleasanton community, of 250, went from $1,000 in 2016 to $4,800 in 2017.
All Saints School, Hayward, $650
All Saints Church, Hayward, $1,000
American Council of Teachers, Oakland, $750
Ariel Outreach Ministries, Oakland, $1,000
Christ Community Church of the Nazarene, Concord, $850
Dayspring Communications, Inc., Oakland, $500
Delta Christian Community Food Bank, Byron, $900
Ephesian Community Food Share, Oakland, $1,000
Kmhmú-Laotian Pastoral Center, Richmond, $1,000
New Hope Baptist Church, Oakland, $750
Oakland Catholic Worker, $1,000
Project Outreach, Inc., Oakland, $850
St. David's Pantry, Richmond, $1,000
St. Mary's Center, Oakland, $850
Sister John Marie's Food Pantry, $500
Sister Rose Carroll's Ministry, Clayton, $1,000
The Light Ministries, Antioch, $1,000
Vietnamese American Community Center of the East Bay, Oakland, $750
St. Vincent de Paul conferences:
Church of the Assumption, San Leandro, $500
Contra Costa District Council, Pittsburg, $750
Corpus Christi Church, Fremont, $850
Most Holy Rosary Church, Antioch, $750
Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Brentwood, $750
Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Union City, $900
Our Lady Queen of the World Church, Bay Point, $1,000
Queen of All Saints Church, Concord, $1,000
St. Anne Church, Byron, $550
St. Bede Church, Hayward, $500
St. Benedict Church, Oakland, $850
St. Bonaventure Church, Concord, $500
St. Callistus Church, El Sobrante, $500
St. Catherine of Siena Church, Martinez, $750
St. Columba Church, Oakland, $750
St. Felicitas Church, San Leandro, $750
St. Jerome Church, El Cerrito, $750
St. Joachim Church, Hayward, $850
St. John the Baptist Church, El Cerrito , $750
St. John the Baptist Church, San Lorenzo, $750
St. Joseph Church, Fremont, $500
St. Patrick Church, Rodeo, $750
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