Caring for those in need was a staple of Christ’s ministry as He traveled from town to town. It reflected not only His divinity but also His humanity. Sheila DiMarcangelo, a member of Sovereign Grace for 24 years, also has a heart for those who are in need. That heart - and God’s calling - moved her to start the Sovereign Grace Food Ministry ten years ago. It started with Sheila and a contribution from just one restaurant - Dunkin’ Donuts. Today, it has grown to about 38 individuals who together help feed dozens of our church families any given week.
Sheila says, “Every week, before church, my amazing team members pack 35 boxes for families that are in temporary or ongoing need of assistance, especially single moms, the unemployed or ill.” Those not receiving boxes can help themselves to the variety of baked goods, vegetables, fruit, and sweets displayed on tables.
Every Wednesday and Friday evening, you can find Sheila or a member of her crew at the door of Panera
Bread picking up their very generous contribution to the ministry. Throughout the week, others are gathering donations from places like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Costco, Bonefish Grill, WaWa, Chipotle and Mom’s Organic. This collection process constitutes an amazing effort by dedicated church members who not only gather all this food into one place but also separate it, box it when needed, and help out every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, in rain or shine, in numbing cold or sweltering heat. Sheila estimates that they take in about $300,000 in food donations every year and have fed hundreds of families over the years.
Kathi Baillie, a long-time member of the team says, “It’s been a blessing for me to be able to participate. The
ministry offered me an opportunity to serve at a season in my life when there were many other demands, like home schooling. My husband and I help box on Sunday and enjoy watching church members pick up their boxes or scan the tables for items that will help them make it through the week.”
It is impressive to note that no food is wasted. Once the Sovereign Grace families have been helped, the remaining foods are picked up by three other organizations who distribute it to their recipients.
“...For I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink.....Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” - Matthew 25: 35,40