Our ministry of food deliveries
to the urban poor in Oklahoma City.
Every month, we deliver food to about 400 different low income households who don't have transportation.
We deliver basic supplemental groceries -- a food delivery for a household of 4 people or fewer will consist of canned goods (corn, green beans, apple sauce, peaches, beans), dry goods (2 lbs of rice, 2 lbs of pasta, 2 lbs of beans), four or five miscellaneous items, and often two or three refrigerated or frozen items. The deliveries vary a bit each month. Larger families get additional bags.
About half of our deliveries are to people who are disabled and/or elderly. We see a lot of working mothers and grandparents raising kids. Some people are referred to us by other charities, organizations, and churches. Some people find us on their own and that's fine too.
We do these deliveries over two Saturday work days each month. We meet at 9 AM and bag up the groceries. Then we head out to make deliveries. During the summers (June, July, August, September), we meet at 8 AM.
On the first delivery day of the month, we go to public housing apartments -- Wesley Village, Towers, Towers Annex, Belle Aire in central OKC, Charles Atkins and Temple Gardens in NE OKC, and Andrews Square in south OKC. . We take a truck to the central OKC deliveries and send volunteers in cars to the NE OKC deliveries.
On the 2nd delivery day of the month, we do the other deliveries which will be scattered around low income communities in Oklahoma City. We don't deliver in Moore, Norman, Edmond, Yukon/Mustang, MWC, Del City, or OKC east of Bryant.
Generally we do these deliveries on the 3rd and 4th Saturdays, but when there are 5 Saturdays in the month, we may switch to the 4th and 5th. Check the detailed schedule linked above.
We typically need 15 to 20 drivers to complete these deliveries. We sort the deliveries into driving lists where all the deliveries will be (generally) in a given geographical area. Since there is a considerable amount of manual labor involved with this kind of ministry -- fetching, lifting, carrying, sorting, bagging, etc. -- we are also happy when we see carloads of strong and enthusiastic young people show up on delivery day.
November and December are exceptions. Because of the way the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are on the calendar, we do all of our deliveries on one day each of those two months. We often bag for two or three evenings in advance. The delivery days for those months vary depending on the schedules of other groups using the Dorothy Day Center. Check the schedule closer to those months for the dates and times.
It typically takes us about an hour to bag the groceries and then deliveries take two or three hours, depending on how many deliveries you take.
We have been doing this since 1999 and our beginning as a Catholic Worker community.
We have partners who help with this ministry of distributive justice:
St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church built the Dorothy Day Center, a food warehouse, makes sure we have the food we need to make these deliveries.
The Catholic Church of the Epiphany of the Lord, through parish organizations and members, provides a considerable amount of financial support that pays for details like gasoline, phone, truck rental, food bank charges; we also have a number of volunteers who come from Epiphany.
OKC First Nazarene provides a considerable number of very faithful volunteers.
Members of the Oklahoma Food Cooperative donate money which is used to buy food from Oklahoma farmers to give to the poor.
We also receive miscellaneous help, support, and prayers from a considerable number of other people, some here in Oklahoma City, some elsewhere, some we know, others we don't. We pray for all our benefactors and partners constantly and are truly grateful to God for the help we do receive.
We are rather anarchistic in our organization of this. Call me and tell me your coming if you want or just show up. If you can't be there, say a prayer for us that people will hear God calling them to help. Thanks for your prayers.
Oscar Romero Catholic Worker Community
Venite Adoremus, 10 improvisational meditations on the music of Advent, Nativity, and Epiphany, recorded live by Bob Waldrop on the Yamaha Conservatory grand piano at the Church of the Epiphany of the Lord in Oklahoma City. Funds from the sale of the CD benefit the
ministries of the Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House.
PS. Why we do this: Works of Justice and Peace