Loaves and Fishes

Jess Bandstra

Jess Bandstra

Loaves and Fishes is a group of individuals who make and deliver wholesome meals to those in need within our community. You can be a cook, a deliverer, or both!

A simple online calendar (called MealTrain) is used to organize and deliver meals to the recipients which makes coordinating easy and efficient. Jess Bandstra (pictured below) has been leading this Ministry, currently ten people, for over five years. She says, "I love this ministry because it is a reasonably easy way to provide very practical help for those in need. My family has been a recipient of meals after the births of each of my three children and we have appreciated it profusely!".

One recipient of Loaves and Fishes shared her personal story with us:

"In November, 2016, I had just left St. Joseph's Hospital after a week of treatment for severe pneumonia, anemia and heart valve problems. When I arrived home with my husband, who was also ill, we realized that we needed reinforcement as we struggled to recover health and strength. What better source of help than our own St. Paul's community, and especially Loaves and Fishes, a team of families who volunteer to provide nourishing meals! We called Jess Bandstra and she immediately contacted the network. Each evening for the next week a delicious, nourishing and appetizing meal arrived at our front door. After we had recovered and regained some independence we realized what strong bonds of friendship and support are there, in St. Paul's, in times of need. God is good!"

Perhaps, it is not just solely the food that is being shared but it is in the sharing itself. One member stated, "I am no great cook but when I prepare and share food with someone, I hope they feel like someone cares, that God cares."

We see the goodness in Jesus performing the miracles of feeding the 5,000 and then 4,000, and these miracles continue to be performed today long after the original loaves and fishes were consumed. Helping someone who is going through an illness, or a family with a new baby, or the loss of a loved one, or other life transitions and difficulties are some of the places where the miracles of feeding, and being fed, continue the work of Christ.

Anyone who is interested in joining or in need of or know someone who is in need of nourishing meals while in transition, contact: Jess Bandstra.

We also welcome one-time contributions of meals to the Great Hall freezer. These should be well-labeled and in a container you do not need returned.