Around Holy Family Church Giving Bank, a fun, faith-filled group of volunteers were back in action Monday doing what they’ve been doing for years.
Yes, they were back in action doing their weekly ritual – showing bright smiles, plenty of old-fashioned good heartedness and mostly everlasting support for more than 200 individuals lined up at the church’s Giving Bank waiting to receive food in a time of need.
Getting a peek inside of how it all comes together each week was State Senator Anthony Portantino, who, along with city officials from South Pasadena and Alhambra, toured the facility, greeting dedicated volunteers and those in line benefitting from their hard work. The senator saw firsthand how the Holy Family Church Homeless Outreach Program reaches out by feeding the hungry through its food bank.
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Its mission is simple, reading: “Holy Family Church’s Giving Bank takes seriously our baptismal call to be responsible, respectful stewards of one another. Recognizing that God works in and through the world, and in each one of us, the Giving Bank provides direct relief to those in the local Los Angeles area who face food insecurity and hunger. Our action is implemented in a welcoming spirit of Christian love for one another, recognizing that all involved are assembled as God’s community.”
They stand outside the church’s St. Joseph Center, the line often bending around the corner, waiting their turn to receive the free groceries that include fresh produce. Around the holidays, especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas, the crowds are much larger, but the hearts are always full from those giving it out.
The church goes far beyond handing out food to those seeking a meal, setting up a mobile unit on its grounds and providing free showers to the homeless from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday.
Civic leaders like Portantino and those watching over the cities of South Pasadena and Alhambra soaked it all in Monday, every bit of it, as they watched the underprivileged and the team of volunteers interact, knowing both were benefiting.
Portantino toured the Holy Family facilities as food was being served, seeing firsthand that positive steps to help the homeless population in South Pasadena are being met. South Pasadena Public Information Officer John Pope says the city he represents has been engaging state leaders and local partners such as Holy Family as it pursues regional approaches in an effort to find solutions.
Meanwhile, help at Holy Family is always needed as contributions are welcome almost daily. Want to pitch in and help? Bags of food can be dropped off at bins under the counter at each church entrance or at the St. Joseph Center, Tuesday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Push a black buzzer to let those inside know you’re outside. Items needed include: Pasta, Canned or powdered milk, cereal, canned soup, canned tuna, canned vegetables, dried fruit and nut. Fresh fruit and vegetables from home gardens are also desired.