All are invited to food pantry opening
The blessing and grand opening of 4Saints Episcopal Food Pantry will be at 10 am Thursday, February 16, at St. Luke in the Meadow Episcopal Church, 4301 Meadowbrook Drive, Fort Worth, 76103. The Rt. Rev. J. Scott Mayer, bishop of Fort Worth, will bless the space. Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, Bo Soderbergh, Executive Director Tarrant Area Food Bank, and Jeanette Scott of the Tarrant Area Food Bank also will speak briefly.
Fort Worth Bishop Scott Mayer said, “The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth is on the map in terms of being known as a place for innovation and risk-taking adventures. The creation of 4Saints Episcopal Food Pantry by a collaboration of four churches was driven by a desire to meet the hunger needs of the community that surrounds our diocesan office. This is an example of the hands-on, hearts-wide-open ways that Episcopalians in our diocese are becoming known for.”
4Saints Episcopal Food Pantry began in late 2014 as the dream of the Rev. Tony Hiatt. First St. Luke’s, then the three other congregations joined in the effort to make that dream a reality. Patricia Callahan of St. Luke’s spearheaded the effort after Hiatt took a new leadership role at The Episcopal Church in Wise County in June 2015. After an intense two years of grant writing, obtaining relevant permits, extensive renovations, and staff and volunteer training, 4Saints is now an agent of the Tarrant Area Food Bank.
4Saints operates out of a space next door to the diocesan offices on St. Luke’s property. The food pantry serves the three zip codes around St. Luke’s in the Meadowbrook neighborhood of east Fort Worth: 76103, 76112, and 76120. This area, which includes nearby Meadowbrook Elementary School and Meadowbrook Middle School, qualifies as a food desert. This means people have to travel more than a mile to acquire fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods at grocery stores, farmers’ markets, or other healthy food providers. Another measure of food insecurity is that the majority of students at both schools qualify for free meals.
4Saints Episcopal Food Pantry is a project of four congregations in the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. The 24-county diocese is divided into five areas, called deaneries. These four congregations are clustered in the Fort Worth East Deanery. They are St. Stephen’s, Hurst; St Martin-in-the-Fields, Keller/Southlake; St Alban’s, worshiping in Theatre Arlington; and St. Luke’s. Members from each congregation serve on the 4Saints Board of Directors, which is headed by Callahan.
Hours of Operation
Initially, the 4Saints Episcopal Food Pantry will be open from noon to 2 p. m. each Friday. More days and hours will be added as necessary to meet the needs of clients in this food desert. At the recent soft opening on January 27, fifteen families were served.
The 4Saints Episcopal Food Pantry director is Judith Cariker. The pantry is staffed by volunteers from the four congregations as well as the surrounding neighborhood.