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Overflowing generosity at drive-thru food drive Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Angela Curio, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Apr. 30, 2020 -- 12:00 AM
QOP Food Drive
Volunteers at Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Madison take donations for the Catholic Multicultural Center in Madison out of the back of a vehicle. (Contributed photo)

MADISON -- Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish (QP) saw an overflow of generosity at its first Drive-Thru Food Drive to benefit the Catholic Multicultural Center (CMC) on the morning of Sunday, April 19.

"Many of you are asking for ways to help as COVID-19 continues to affect our community on a daily basis, so QP's Social Action and Community Enrichment Board teamed up with the St. Vincent de Paul conference to find a creative way to help our neighbors in need!" read the Facebook event page that was posted just six days before the event.

"We need your help to feed the hundreds of families that are continuing to suffer by filling the Catholic Multicultural Center's food pantry!"

High turnout

Thirty-eight individuals expressed interest on Facebook before the event, but the turnout was "more than we were anticipating," said Annette Fox, director of the parish's Social Action and Community Enrichment board. "It was awesome. Filled the van plus some!"

Comparing the event to the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, she said, "We started out slow and ended up filling the van and had a whole bunch that never fit into the van."

The event ran from 9 to 11 a.m., with volunteers shuffling between cars as they strived to maintain a safe social distance.

Describing people's enthusiasm, Fox also said the demand for another drive-thru food drive was high.

"Everyone who worked as well as donors were, 'Please, can we do it again?' The answer was 'yes' when all was said and done."

Another drive-thru food drive at the parish is being planned for May 17.

To keep safe, volunteers wore gloves and masks and those donating were cautioned from getting out of their vehicles.

"It's important, for the safety of our volunteers and for you, that you stay in your car during the donation drop off," the event description read.

"The best way to do this is by putting your donation in the back of your car or trunk."

"We also had hand sanitizer there as well to keep us safe," Fox added.

In addition to the food drive, monetary donations continue to be accepted for both the CMC and St. Vincent de Paul online through Faith Direct.

Visit https://membership.faithdirect.net/givenow/WI644/19337 to set up your donation.

Helping others

When asked what advice she had for other parishes who might want to do something similar, she said, "Just do it. People are looking for ways that they can help. It gives them a purpose, and yes, we are all in this together!"

Fox has been serving as the director of the Social Action and Community Enrichment Board at Our Lady Queen of Peace since 2014. She has been a member of the parish since 1998.

She said the idea for the drive-thru food drive came about as a part of the board's regular monthly discussion.

"Each month, we discuss as a group how we can best serve our community. We have several different people representing the board, and it was talked about how much of an impact our community was being hit by so many being laid off. We decided to think outside of the box for a new and creative way to make a difference in the community."

When speaking about being involved in Church ministry, she said, "I always hear comments about 'the Catholics' and how they are in the news for all the wrong reasons. I just wish that for once, all the good things that we do, as Catholics, would come through."

She mentioned that the Social Action and Community Enrichment Board that has organized the drive-thru food drive "has been around for years to make joint decisions on many things within the Church. It is a group of people who are very active in many aspects of our church and community alike."

According to QP's website, the parish serves more than 60 sites which include the Catholic Multicultural Center, St. Vincent de Paul, Care Net, and Our Lady of Hope Clinic.

For more information about the drive-thru food drive, see the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/QPParish and on the Web at https://www.qopc.org

 
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