St. Catherine’s is one of sixteen Episcopal Churches in Alabama that offer a Beans and Rice Pantry as an outreach ministry. Many people in Chelsea call St. Catherine’s “The Beans and Rice Church.” One does not have to look very far to find someone facing difficult financial times, and this ministry provides a helping hand to our neighbors.
On the third Saturday of each month from 9:00 am until 11:00 am, St. Catherine’s gives away beans and rice, plus much more to members of the community who stop by the church. What is offered is not a meal. Our neighbors receive about two grocery bags, which include gifts donated by members of the parish. Typically these gifts will include three pounds of rice, two pounds of beans, a jar of peanut butter, several rolls of toilet paper, a tube of toothpaste, a toothbrush, and several cans of vegetables and fruits. At the end of the year, members of St. Catherine’s donate hams and turkeys so that every family visiting receives one for a Christmas meal.
We ask no questions of our guests, and they do not have to prove that they are in need. We simply greet and welcome them. The pantry is completely stocked by the families of St. Catherine’s. If you would like to make a food donation, there is a basket located in the entryway to the church. If you would like to volunteer to assist with our Beans and Rice Pantry, please contact Bill Wheeler, the head of our Outreach Committee, for more information.