For more than 30 years, St. Patrick Center’s Meaningful Meals program has been a “fishes and loaves” example and it takes a community to make it happen. We’d like to introduce you to one of the monthly casserole teams at Northview High School.
Facilitated by Sonja Conley and the Character Development Committee, this school-wide service learning project helps students understand poverty and its impact. We are incredibly thankful for the dedicated students working together across their disabilities to help others in need.
Within the program, Northview High School students provide four casseroles on the third Thursday of each month to residents of St. Patrick Center’s Rosati Group Home. In order to provide these casseroles, each classroom is assigned specific ingredients; classrooms then shop for this item once a month during a community trip to the grocery store; the items are brought back to school and students get together to make the casseroles.
In September, Northview School presented their casserole making skills at a Character Education Conference in St. Louis. Several students worked with attendees to make the casseroles after a multi-media presentation about service learning in the school.
Each year, St. Patrick Center serves around 178,000 hot, nutritious meals to people who are homeless or at risk and hungry– at virtually no cost to the agency. Our Meaningful Meals program consists of 114 churches, schools and community groups (about 2,500 volunteers). Each are assigned a certain day of the month to make and deliver the needed number of casseroles, salads and deserts for the agency’s Shamrock Club day treatment program, Biddle Housing Opportunities Center, Rosati Group Home and Women’s Night Program.