- Jeff Hodde helping at the weekday Community Lunch program at the Methodist Church; 2) the congregation’s gathering of baby items for Family Promise (Ontario Co) for new mother; 3) Half a dozen members of Trinity joined the NAACP Black Lives Matter Rally; 4) the congregation collected items to fill GO-Bags for Catholic Charities’ emergency housing in motel rooms.
Our Pandemic Outreach…
Creating a Place at the Table
Includes on-going support of direct service, contributions of cash, and requested supplies to:
Center of Concern
Since the pandemic began, the people of Trinity Place have sought new relationships and ways to participate in outreach in the community that would make significant differences. Rather than trying to create our own outreach program – which would be limited in scope since we are so small – we are working to support several partners and community groups to provide food and other necessities to the people of Geneva who most need it.
From Trinity Place we are working toward: 1) support of Blueprint Geneva providing 140 fresh dinners each week, 2) support Catholic Charities providing Go-Bags filled with essentials for those temporarily housed in motels, 3) supporting the Center of Concern ministry supplying gas and food cards along with special requested food items collected by the congregation, and 4) assisting in the lunch program at the Methodist Church by providing produce and kitchen supplies as requested, as well as volunteering our hands for preparation.
If you can donate to “Creating a Place at the Table” 100% of it will go to these efforts. Send your contribution to Trinity Place, P.O Box 287, Geneva, NY, 14456. Thank you.
A Brief Summary of Geneva Blueprint’s Efforts to Feed the Community during the Pandemic
In the City of Geneva, there are three standing sources of food for those in need: the Community Lunch Program serves a daily lunch, the Center of Concern and Salvation Army food pantries operate Monday through Friday for about 2 hours each day. But we have had no weekend food assistance prior to COVID, and when the pandemic caused changes to the existing services, (bag lunches only at the weekday Community Lunch program, increased need but reduced volunteer capacity at the two food pantries), BluePrint Geneva started filling the gaps.
But it wasn’t just a need to help existing clients access food on the weekends, there was now a clear influx of new people needing to stretch food dollars due to unemployment or other COVID-related emergencies. We were concerned that the existing capacity could not handle the increased strain. Samantha Buyskes, an amazing Finger Lakes chef who has appeared on Food Network found herself unemployed and agreed to volunteer to plan, shop, and cook meals that would be served cold in to-go containers, but could be enjoyed hot and would feature fresh, local ingredients.
So with a beginning budget of $200/week, the goal was to feed 100 people 2 meals (each container holds two portions). Now they feed over 140 people, and still run out in under an hour each Saturday afternoon. There is also a premium put on environmental concerns as well. Committed to environmental sustainability, because they don’t want to help in the short term only to cause harm in the long term, they use entirely biodegradable packaging.
Like all three programs Trinity Place supports and is active with, it is a cooperative community effort. Geneva Blueprint utilizes the certified kitchen at the Methodist Church, which is also the host of the weekday Community Lunch program members of Trinity volunteer at and supply produce for.
Meals go to people in emergency housing without transportation and might be the only food service they receive all week. Meals are also delivered to four long-term assisted housing locations, two boardinghouses where residents do not have access to a full kitchen, a subsidized apartment building with over 30 apartments, and a facility where recovering addicts are living. While the school district has provided weekday breakfast and lunch service to families with school aged children since the school closure went into effect, and the Boys and Girls Clubs (with help from St. Peter’s) ran a two month dinner service to the same families, the majority of people served by this program do not have school aged children and are therefore not receiving those services.
Action is grounded in knowledge. Members of Trinity Place took part in both pre-pandemic and pandemic study groups on racism and slavery in America. We read and discussed the 1619 project that outlined the history and impact of slavery on, watched and discussed a series of videos from the national church, and read “How to be an Anti-Racist” by Ibram X. Kendi together. This is an on-going effort.