After the PFG weekend in Wellington in 2018 and in response to the 2017 Synod ‘Go you are sent to build community’ our Passionist Family group coordinators in Holy Family Parish in Nelson wanted to set up something that was ongoing and supported the broader Parish community. Initially our thoughts were to provide some help with meals for the Crisis pregnancy support group that is in Nelson. As things evolved from thinking of a meal cooking roster, on call, through to having meals on hand, there was very little response from the PFG or from the Parish community.

An extremely ill parishioner donated some money to put towards the costs – then silence.

Suddenly, some time after a series of notices in the Parish Newsletter, there was a call from the Garin College Hostel who house 58 boarders. They indicated that they have food that could be used. This food is cooked for their young people and for a variety of reasons is not eaten. It is offered to them twice before it is disposed of.  A wonderful couple, who take care of these young people, then place the food in individual meal sized trays and freeze it ready for reuse. This prevents food wastage.

As a consequence we now have a ready supply of meals, some soups and some desserts to offer to the Parish.

Storage now is an issue! However the young people at the Hostel choose a charity each year, when they go without dessert through lent, and donate the cost. This year they chose to donate their funds to the purchase of a freezer for the parish! Bless them! All that remains is to find a fridge freezer that is suitable and fits into the fridge space in the Parish meeting room!!

While approximately 100 meals have gone out over the last two months it is now time for the next phase.  As a group we have decided that while our primary motivation is to support those Mums receiving support from the Crisis Pregnancy support team, we want to offer the meals to the Parish as a whole. They are not intended to be a replacement for food parcel support. Rather they will be gifted to anyone who is going through a difficult time.

By gifting meals in such circumstances as post bereavement, loneliness and isolation, sudden illness, accidents, and any other individual or family difficulties, the message we want to send is “we care!”

This also gives a follow up opportunity to ensure that Parishioners are receiving the type of support that they want and need.

A further development is that the meals will be a resource for the newly developing bereavement team.

This is the message we need to go out to parishioners and have them aware of this resource, and be prepared to refer potential recipients. How often do we think “I should bake a cake –cook a meal for them”. And as time goes by we are “too busy”. This way a quick phone call, or an email is all that is needed and the meals will arrive.