As part of Friday Night Community we know how important food is not only for maintaining and building health, but also for connecting and bringing people together. Through the Meal Bag program we provide food to nourish and meet the important need of food security, however we continue to strive to find ways to care for and connect our friends. Our community is no longer able to attend the regular dinners, lunches and outreaches that were such an integral part of their community connections and positive mental health. We know that there are many who are desperately missing the opportunity for hugs, caring conversations and real connections.
Last month we lost one of our new babies that we were delivering to. The family continues to grieve and receive food support from our program. This past week one family came and let us know that this time they were picking up for 4 adults instead of 5, as Grandma had just passed away. Every week a Friday Night Community father who is hearing impaired would come with his adult son to pick up their food. He arrived alone on Wednesday and passed us a note saying, “MY SON PASSED AWAY LAST TWO WEEKS AGO. I AM STILL SAD AND I MISS HIM. I DO NOT KNOW WHAT HAPPENED.” He signed to let us know that he has a broken heart. So much uncertainly and loss at this time, and it is difficult that we cannot put a hand on a shoulder or hug a grieving friend.
We have over 240 friends buddied up and receiving regular check in calls, and we are also able to have some friendly chats while folks come to pick up their meal bags throughout the week. Our wonderful delivery volunteers may have an opportunity to check in while dropping off a box of food. Over the last couple of week we have included cards with a friendly message of hope as well as craft bags for the children who might enjoy a creative opportunity at home. These are all ways we strive to stay connected. In addition through the Friday Night Community Facebook page we can share pictures and memories. We don’t know what the future of community meals will look like, but we do know and understand their importance. We encourage friends to stay connected in whatever way possible and to continue to reach out and provide encouragement, love and hope to folks in our community.
With the help of so many wonderful organizations and individuals who are providing food and financial help, we are feeding well over 1200 individuals each week while reaching over 250 residences. During this time we are providing food support for a number of reasons. One mom works in a long term care facility and became ill with COVID. Her husband and children were also positive and the recovery has been long and difficult. We are able to assist with food needs as well as hygiene and personal care items for this family. Mom shared, “It still shocks me how long this virus can linger and continue to cause problems. The nourishment and clean supplies that were provided in our meal bag boxes saved our lives. I do not know what I would do without the food. I feel guilty for taking the food because I know there are other people in need, but at the same time I feel like I am hanging on by a thread.”
Thank you for your continued food donations, financial support and prayers. As food prices increase we are finding it more difficult to access food. If you know anyone in the food industry who may be able to assist please do reach out and let us know. Please post and share some of our biggest needs at this time which are listed below.
With thanks and appreciation, Lisa Lunski, email@example.com