Signs of Hope!
By Sister Geraldine Ching
Throughout the gospels, we find stories of how Jesus fed people. According to Scripture, Jesus performed miracles and multiplied food from a few fish and some loaves of bread, and fed thousands of people. Wouldn’t that be wonderful if, during this pandemic—a time of quarantine, a time of limited access to food, that we would be able to carry on Jesus’ legacy? Like St. Marianne Cope, St. Francis Healthcare System of Hawaii answered such a call during this crisis.
Our Healthcare System facilitates food security on the island of Oahu. Through diverse funding — federal, county, state, city, private, etc. — we deliver 1000 meals per day with 50 drivers. Each meal is delivered lovingly by Board members, corporate lawyers, employees, and other volunteers. Since the pandemic began, more than 175,000 meals have gone to those in need. Some of our sisters have been involved in prepping, cooking, and packaging the meals.
The educator, par excellence! Jesus Christ knew that his message would be relevant only if people’s human needs were met. While meals are being delivered, drivers make a quick assessment: Does the person live totally alone? Is there evidence of further needs — medical, mental, spiritual? Our Franciscan Plus program sends a social worker if necessary. Through this program, our clients can have some of their needs met and live a better quality of life. Our motto: Live Every Moment! is practiced by all.
During this Lenten season, let us continue to heed the words of Jesus Christ: “Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do unto me.”
NOTE: During 11 months, the program served 175,000 meals and helped several of the partner restaurants stay in business during the pandemic shutdown.