Food drive just one way volunteer supports SIJ
Last updated 4/12/2023 at 4:08pm | View PDF
On Saturday, April 15, 100 or more volunteers will descend on homes throughout Hinsdale as they distribute thousands of grocery bags for the 10th annual Seeds of Service food drive. Ensuring that each of those bags gets to its intended recipient is Hinsdale resident and St. Isaac Jogues church member Edward Pound.
"I've been involved from the get-go," said Pound, who uses his extensive background in operations to divide the village into 31 routes for volunteers to follow on bag distribution day, as well as on food collection day.
"I basically put together a bunch of maps," Pound said, but those maps help to give every Hinsdale household the opportunity to participate in the church's annual food drive.
In its first nine years, the Seeds of Service event collected more than 15,000 bags and 25 pallets filled with food and other essential items to fill the cabinets, pantries and stomachs of people in need. Empty bags are dropped off on porches and hung from front doors across the village one Saturday, and filled bags are picked up the following Saturday. This year, the event takes place on April 15 and 22.
Each empty bag includes a flyer explaining what is needed and where the food will be distributed. The attached wish list includes nonperishable food items, as well as toiletries and cleaning products. Baby products and adult incontinence briefs are needed, too.
Pound said Seeds of Service is an effort by the church's evangelization committee to "take the ministry outside the walls of the church" and into the community.
"It's a great family event," he said, with volunteers of all ages taking part.
While some 100 volunteers work to distribute the empty bags, Pound said the job of collecting between 1,500 and 2,000 full bags and sorting their contents is a much bigger operation requiring many more helping hands.
"That starts at 9 o'clock Saturday morning," Pound said. While teams of volunteers retrack Pound's designated routes to pick up donations, others are collecting and sorting back at St. Isaac Jogues. By 1 p.m., Pound said, the food and items are sorted and loaded up for delivery. This year's donations will be given to Little Sisters of the Poor, Peoples' Resource Center of Westmont, the Missionaries of Charity and The Franciscans of the Eucharist of Chicago.
"It kind of goes like clockwork now," Pound said of the church's largest service event of the year.
St. Isaac Jogues has been a big part of Pound's life since long before he became a Hinsdale resident. He married his wife, Hinsdale native Meg Reidy, at the church 36 years ago. They've since raised three children in the church.
Pound participates in the church as a reader at Mass, by distributing Communion as a Eucharistic minister, and by teaching Catholics and potential members of the church through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults program.
"It's a way to explain what the Catholic church is about," he said, part of which is using one's own talents and resources to help others.
- story by Sandy Illian Bosch, photo by Jim Slonoff