There are many programs designed to help feed people who have fallen on hard times and are unable to provide for themselves. My wife recently was made aware of a food ministry looking for someone to help. One of our older parishioners had been involved in this ministry - on his own - apart from the parish - in which he would pick up end of day bread products and distribute to the needy. The fact that he had been providing this service only came to light after his death. It is a simple ministry to do - all my wife has to do is to pick up left over bread products at the end of the day and deliver them to someone who needs them. Last night was her first night and I went along with her to help - not knowing how much she might receive. 8:45Pm we headed to the local Panera in Yorkville, IL. Left over? It looked more like a custom bakery order for a hotel. Neither of us could believe how much they gave us - and we only pick up one night a week - they do this 7 days a week. Rather than toss in the garbage - Panera - has made arrangements throughout their stores to donate these end of day left overs to legitimate charities. This is very charitable for them - as they refuse to sell anything that was not baked that day. As you can see in the photo the collection filled the back end of her SUV.
In John 21:15-19 Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him and each time He told him to "feed my lambs - feed my sheep". Jesus did not literally expect Peter to feed people with food - although that is a nice thought - He wanted Peter to spread the Gospel - to share the Good News with the people - to feed their souls. Feeding a person with a loaf of bread only satisfies the stomach - not the spirit. Each of us - as modern day disciples - are called to share the "bread of life" - the truth that is Jesus - with everyone we meet. How we accomplish that is up to us to decide - as long as we honor His command - "feed my lambs".