HOSPITALITY: ST. ED'S STARTS BR. ANDRE'S PLACE FOOD PANTRY
Vice President of Mission Effectiveness Mr. Liam Haggerty '02 and Director of Service and Outreach Mr. Richard Kubrak '07 teamed up this year to start a food pantry named in honor of Br. André Bessette, C.S.C. This newly-formed ministry is a once-a-month food pantry supplying individuals and families with a 3-5 day supply of nonperishable food items. The first pantry of the year was held this past Monday. "We decided to start the Br. André's Place Food Pantry because we believed there was a need. Many folks living right in our neighborhood are food insecure and we, as a community, have the resources to try and offer some assistance," says Mr. Haggerty. "One of the guiding principles behind starting the pantry was the same principle that started the produce distribution and the community meal program at St. Ed's: a desire to be a good neighbor in our community and an effort to share our Holy Cross charism of Hospitality with those in our community. For us, it naturally meant naming the pantry in honor of Br. André, the icon of Holy Cross Hospitality."
Most of the food given through the Br. André's Place Food Pantry will be procured through a partnership with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. Most of the food from the food bank is free, while some is available at a reduced cost. "The best help we can get to continue the Br. André's Place Food Pantry is through cash donations to purchase food from the food bank at a cheaper rate. But, we also can always distribute food donations (non-expired nonperishables) of staple products like peanut butter and canned chili, soups, stews, ravioli, fruits and vegetables." On Monday, the pantry also received a generous donation of fresh bread from the Orlando Baking Company. "When items like that are donated, it's always so nice to give out fresh items to people who really appreciate it," says Mr. Haggerty. Additionally, a donating station will be set up at the SEHS Athletic Boosters' Tailgate on the Kahl Patio at the St. Edward High School Varsity Football game on Friday, October 12 where students and families can drop off non-perishable canned food donations to the Br. André's Place Food Pantry.
With the help of a few faculty and staff volunteers and student members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, the first Br. André's Place Food Pantry, set up in the St. Edward gym lobby, would not have been successful without assistance from within the St. Edward Community. "Mr. Kubrak and I have been taking students to volunteer at food pantries for the last eight years, watching and learning how they work, and we've been thinking about running one of our own for a while. To see it become a reality this week, through the hard work and generosity of so many people, was really exciting and I feel blessed to be a part of it," says Mr. Haggerty.
While the pantry is still in its early stages, and depending on demand and available resources, all are welcome to come to the pantry for assistance. "Our hope is that the Br. André's Place Food Pantry will primarily serve as a way to help meet the immediate needs of those within our community and that it will provide as a witness to who we are as a Holy Cross school for our students, faculty, staff, alumni and parents and that it gives everyone an opportunity to authentically live the Gospel," says Mr. Haggerty. "As Br. Robert Lavelle, C.S.C. always says to the students who serve through Labre each week, 'To those of us who have been given opportunities, resources, privileges and a voice in society, it is, in turn, our responsibility to lift up and amplify the voices of those in need and work to create a more just and humane society.'"