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Challenge to End Hunger: Catholic Sisters Week 2021
In honor of Catholic Sisters Week 2021 (March 8-14, 2021), the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael are responding to a collaborative challenge put forth by Region IV of Leadership Conference of Women Religious to join a national effort to address a significant impact COVID-19 has had on families. Food insecurity among the most vulnerable members of our society has heightened after the holidays as the nation awaits a vaccine distribution to the masses.
The Dominican Sisters of San Rafael have long been active in addressing food insecurity in our local areas of service. Most local agencies have been providing a to-go option during the COVID pandemic in order to ensure the safety of their volunteers and diners. To meet the “Challenge to End Hunger” call for Catholic Sisters Week we will double down on our efforts in our various locales and make a significant financial contribution. It is our hope that once our Sisters are vaccinated, we will be able to lend our physical support in this arena as well.
We have selected three agencies that deal with feeding the hungry to support, each with important ties to our congregation.
- San Rafael: St. Vincent de Paul Society Free Dining Room—we have a long history of service and support with this important community partner who has served Marin since 1946. They share our belief in the dignity of all people.
- San Francisco: Lima Center, St. Dominic’s Parish—The Dominican Sisters have a long history with St. Dominic’s Parish, and in establishing the parish’s first community service department in the 70s which led to the creation of the Lima Center in 2005 (founded by Sr. Anne Bertain, OP), a drop-in day shelter and place of respite for homeless neighbors. The Center also operates a Food Pantry in conjunction with the SF-Marin Food Bank. During this time of pandemic, our Sisters continue to support distribution of daily lunches.
- Stockton: St. Mary’s Dining Room—St. Mary’s Dining Room responds to poverty in San Joaquin County by feeding the hungry, caring for health issues, and restoring human dignity to over 700 individuals each day. The Dominican Sisters provided seed money for the expansion to a dinner program, which has been nourishing families since 2015, offering to-go options during the pandemic. The Sisters continue to lend their support to this critical organization through service on the Board as well.
In addition to our monetary efforts, we will use our social media channels to help raise awareness of the current increase in food insecurity and underlying causes, such as the COVID-19 Pandemic, poverty, unemployment/under-employment, and inconsistent access to healthy food. We aim to inspire our friends and neighbors to lend their support in any way they can to help end hunger, not just during Catholic Sisters Week, but throughout the year.
We encourage you to visit the website of any or all of the mentioned organizations and/or find your own organization working in the efforts to end hunger and lend your time, talent, or treasure.