Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Mark the Evangelist parish had a “sandwich squad” that met on the fourth Saturday of every month to make 200 bag lunches that they would deliver to Casa Maria for distribution to the needy. In addition, St. Mark parishioners would also volunteer at Casa Maria on the 4th Tuesday of the month and the Knights of Columbus would do the same every other month.
When the pandemic hit, Fr. John Arnold (pastor at St. Mark) and Paul Guertin visited Brian Flagg to assess the situation at Casa Maria and find out how we could help. Faced with a drop in the number of volunteers and donations of all types, Casa Maria was in need of help. The parish immediately provided Casa Maria with support to help meet critical shortages of supplies. That same week, the monthly sandwich squad became a weekly thing. Members of the parish’s Knights of Columbus Council, the Catholic Daughters Court, and other parishioners began making 200 sack lunches every Saturday morning and bringing them down to Casa Maria. In addition, other began making peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and bringing them to the parish office on a daily basis along with other donations. These sandwiches and other donations are delivered to Casa Maria three times per week. As Father John so aptly stated “We’re a Catholic community, we have an obligation to feed the hungry.”