Church of the Good Shepherd offers takeout meals during pandemic
For years, the Church of the Good Shepherd has opened its doors every Thursday evening to those in need of a meal.
When the coronavirus pandemic reached Wareham, the church didn’t stop helping others -- it simply changed its strategy.
Instead of dining in, clients take their meals to go between 4 and 5 p.m.
Each week, a group of about eight to ten volunteers prepare roughly 60 takeout meals. Pastor Daniel Bernier said that the cooks often show up as early as 1 p.m. to start preparations for the evening.
On Thursday afternoon, May 14, volunteers prepared dinners of hot dogs, hamburgers, and various sides and desserts like potato chips and cookies.
Bernier said that when the pandemic reached town, the church’s meal program “didn’t miss a beat,” as it quickly transitioned to takeout -- and never went one week without offering meals to those in need.
During the pandemic, Bernier said, the church has been providing about 10 to 15% more meals than it did in the past because more people are in need now due to the troubled economy.
In addition to the takeout meals, The Church of the Good Shepherd and Church of Nazarene deliver meals to people living in motels who would otherwise be homeless.
Bernier said that this service has been provided in Wareham for roughly 20 years, and has continued through the pandemic.
Alison Savary and Jeannie Mitchell of the Gateway Adult Center have also been teaming up with the Church of the Good Shepherd to deliver meals to people they provide care for.
The Gateway Adult Center is designed to meet the needs of seniors and adults with disabilities while still allowing them to live in their own homes.
The center is closed due to the pandemic, but it has still been holding telehealth conferences, and providing activity packets with activities such as crosswords and puzzles for its members.
On May 14, Savary and Mitchell picked up 15 meals from the Church of the Good Shepherd and personally delivered them to the homes of people under their care.
To prepare food each week, Bernier said that the church relies on donations from the public as well as businesses like Walmart and Cumberland Farms.
He added that the hard times brought on by the pandemic have highlighted the kindness present in the Wareham community.
“The generosity of the people has been phenomenal, so we are appreciative of that,” he said.
Those interested in making a donation should call the church at 508-295-2840.