Lodge 860 April News
“Least of My Brethren” Luncheon
Lodge 860 co-sponsored the “Least of My Brethren” Luncheon with St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church in Detroit, MI on Sunday, January 31, 2021. Funds raised went towards the food pantry at St. Margaret of Scotland Roman Catholic Church in nearby St. Clair Shores, MI.
Parishioners and lodge members donated delicious homemade soups, chilis, and desserts for the event, and all monetary donations went to the food pantry. There was no charge or “minimum donation” for those eating lunch; just free-will offerings.
This unique event thus helps the poor three times over:
1. Any St. Nicholas members or visitors who are struggling to get by can get a free meal of delightful homemade food without being forced to disclose their needy status.
2. 100% of all donations collected at the event went to the St. Margaret Food Pantry.
3. Matching Funds from the GCU doubled all the donations collected.
There were some modifications this year due to the pandemic. All guests at the luncheon were required to wear masks, maintain proper distancing and use disposable gloves when in line. There was no salad bar and no packing of bagged lunches for the poor.
In normal years, it has been the lodge’s practice to use the funds from a GCU community service Fraternal Grant to purchase sandwich materials and then assemble approximately one hundred bagged lunches for the McWarm Homeless Shelter (also located at St. Margaret Roman Catholic Church). The children of St. Nick’s (and some adults) take great delight in decorating the paper bags for these lunches with artwork ranging all the way from the solemn and religious to the zany and ridiculous.
Unfortunately, due to health concerns in the pandemic, the homeless shelter is not currently serving meals, though the food pantry remains open. Therefore, the lodge elected to replace the normal donation of ready-to-eat meals with a donation of cash to the food pantry.
By partnering with the parish to co-sponsor this luncheon and applying for Matching Funds from the GCU Home Office, the lodge was able to raise $1,050 for the food pantry. The pantry specifically requested monetary donations, because it gives them the flexibility to purchase whatever items are running low — a flexibility that does not exist with crates of canned consumables and often times at better prices than what we could purchase ourselves.
To make use of the St. Margaret Food Pantry, please call 586-293-2240 and ask for Deacon Mike O'Keefe.
Pictured above are (from left) Rev. Ronald DeHondt (pastor of St. Margaret of Scotland) accepting a donation to the food pantry from Lodge 860 officers Rev. Joseph Repko (chaplain) and George Nagrant (president). Photo by Jim Van Kula.