The Feed My Sheep Diocesan Ministry connected eight parish feeding ministries with community feeding resources during a recent THRIVE training day in State College. Opening worship was celebrated by The Rev. Patrick Peters of St. Paul’s Columbia with Ms. Elaine Livas, Executive Director and founder of Project SHARE, preaching. Elaine started her vision to help those in need out of the trunk of her car 30 years ago.
Mr. Jay Eury of the Gleaning Project of South Central Pennsylvania was the morning keynote. “One in five kids in South Central Pennsylvania is 'food insecure,'” said Jay. “They don’t have dependable access to enough food for an active, healthy life.” The Gleaning Project collects excess, unsellable, but still perfectly good food from farmers and gardeners of all scales. The “gleaned food” is then distributed to community partners working with lower income families and individuals who share the mission to reduce hunger.
Mrs. Danielle Peters, Director of the Columbia Food Bank, shared the State of Hunger in Central Pennsylvania before the group broke for lunch and conversations over the parish food ministry exhibits. The afternoon keynote was presented by Ron and Sharon Rovansek, volunteers who run the Community Café for St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in State College.
Two afternoon workshops were presented on “Starting a Community Garden” and “How to Access the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.”
The day concluded with a commissioning service and awards presentation to parishes throughout the diocese “In recognition of service, dedication, and diligence to those who are hungry in mind, body and spirit and doing the work of discipleship to Feed My Sheep.” Parishes present to receive awards were: All Saints, Selinsgrove; St. Andrew’s, State College; Trinity, Tyrone; St. John’s, Lancaster; St. James, Mansfield; Trinity, Chambersburg; St. Paul’s, Columbia and the ALERT project of Lancaster.