St. Anna’s Food Pantry has existed in many forms at least since the 1970’s when Fr. Bob Dodwell introduced “The Night Owls”, ladies who would prepare sandwiches at night then distribute them the next day. Before and after Katrina a modest food pantry would provide small bags of food items for homeless men and women. In time demand increased and by 2009 demand was so large that small groups were forming and becoming unruly.
Being the best stewards of our mission St. Anna’s parishioners then identified families in the neighborhood that need assistance. In general, these families are multi-generational and run short of food provided by food stamps toward the end of the month. The pantry, while still assisting our neighbors in need, also focuses on individuals and families in transitional living situations often coming out of an AIDS hospice and awaiting permanent and sustainable assistance…we fill the gap. The distribution is monthly and volunteers for this work are invited.
Our homeless outreach has grown in 2018 and now provides 2-4 distributions a month of snacks, bottled water, t-shirts, socks and other items as available.
The surrounding community, including local churches and bars/lounges, have embraced the Food Pantry by collecting non-perishable food. A series of fundraisers have raised considerable funds to support this outreach and St. Anna’s Church.