The churches of St. John the Baptist in Enosburg Falls and St. Anthony in Sheldon Springs participated in the May 1 diocesan food collection as part of the St. Joseph the Provider Feed the Hungry Initiative during the worldwide celebration of The Year of St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus.

There were 142 items donated at St. John’s for the Enosburg Food Shelf and 70 items at St. Anthony’s for the Sheldon Food Shelf. The collection included non-perishable food items along with hygiene and cleaning supplies.

“Non-food items were added by request of the food shelf because these are items that are in great need,” explained Susan Rainville, church administrative assistant. “They have more than enough food items through donations and the food bank but lack in personal care items and cleaning supplies which families also need.”

The St. Joseph the Provider Feed the Hungry Initiative is largely a communication effort to connect the Catholic community with organizations that feed the hungry and increase capacity to feed the hungry by increasing volunteerism and food donations through local parish partnerships and foodbank initiatives throughout the state.

Most parishes are engaged in feeding the hungry on a regular basis. “From operating their own food pantries, to partnering with local food shelves to hosting regular food drives, our Catholic community is already actively engaged in feeding the hungry,” said Burlington Bishop Christopher Coyne. “I began this initiative to increase our efforts across our diocese to meet the growing need for food in the community.”

Many churches, like those in Enosburg Falls and Sheldon Springs, have boxes available at the churches at all times for donations to the food shelves. “Our support for our local food shelves is ongoing throughout the year,” Rainville said, adding that when there are special food collections such as the St. Joseph the Provider collection, “more people get involved and we have an abundance of donations that we can offer to our local food shelves.”

Some of these donations are also monetary which food shelf personnel can use to purchase items that are needed.

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