“In 2009, during the most significant economic downturn since the Great Depression, we saw new guests every time we were open – many of these people came to a food cupboard for the first time in their lives,” says Pastor Patricia Neale, Director of Feast for Justice. “Due in part to the help of the ShopRite Partners In Caring program, we never once had to turn people away due to a lack of food. At a time when food cupboards around us were closing left and right, we were blessed by the support we received, and as a result, our guests were blessed.”
Feast of Justice, located at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northeast Philadelphia, is dedicated to transforming lives, families and communities through hunger awareness programs, education, as well as counseling and life skills. They are a non-profit organization that supports the working poor and other hungry populations. St. Johns has operated a food pantry for almost eleven years, but took on the name Feast of Justice in 2007, the same year they partnered with Shoprite in the Partners In Caring program.
The primary work of Feast of Justice is as a food cupboard for more than 1,100 registered families within a ten-zip code area in Northeast Philadelphia. Grant money purchases nonperishable food, bakery items and bread, distributed monthly; fresh produce from Philabundance, Delaware Valley’s largest food bank and hunger relief organization, is available on a weekly basis; government-provided food is distributed to low-income senior citizens.
Feast of Justice holds a monthly breakfast where cupboard guests enjoy a hot and hearty meal and can choose from a large selection of free, gently used clothing and household items and receive information about other assistance programs. Job training and job openings, referrals and counseling are available.
Each Thanksgiving, Feast of Justice provides a turkey and all the trimmings to families and at Christmas, they distribute hats, scarves, gloves and warm coats and donate a special gift to each child.
Feast of Justice has been involved in the ShopRite Partners In Caring program for three years and ShopRite has had a major impact on the Feast of Justice holiday food basket program. Distributing more than seven hundred holiday meals including turkey, potatoes, vegetables, stuffing, dessert, bread and all the trimmings is always a daunting task. With ShopRite’s support, Feast of Justice is confident they can accomplish their goals.