St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Elyria is continuing its mission of helping those in need by providing free hot meals to the community.
Throughout the years, the church, 320 Middle Ave., has shared thousands of meals on holidays and regular weekdays with people within the area.
Joyce Snyder, discipleship coordinator at St. Mary’s, said the church’s congregation is more than happy to be active and help community members.
“It means a lot to me to get the community active and help others,” Snyder said.
In July, meals will be served from 4-5:30 p.m., July 13, 20 and 27.
While Snyder has multiple projects on her hands at once, congregation members such as Kathy Freeman and Darlene Knechtges have taken on the details of the programs.
Each week, they pick up food from local food banks, pick up baked goods, go grocery shopping and prepare meals with about 12 other volunteers to provide the dinners.
The meals are well balanced and have a protein, side dish, vegetables, drink and dessert.
“Being part of this is amazing,” Snyder said. “It’s a great asset to the community, and it’s great to be part of a network of churches that do this.”
To receive their meal, residents walk up to the St. Mary School parking lot behind the church.
Although community members still aren’t able to dine in due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Snyder said she and other volunteers hope it’ll return soon.
Members in the church are looking forward to seeing everyone dine together again, and she said she hopes people will continue to participate in volunteering with the parish.
“I love my church, and I love keeping people involved,” Snyder said. “People of all ages can volunteer.
“St. Mary’s Church opens its arms to everyone and people don’t feel that they’re being pointed out. They get help.”