Navigating the unpredictable circumstances of COVID-19 these past several months has been hard on us all. Whether you have lost loved ones, are missing loved ones, or just missing your daily routine—this unexpected season of life has changed the pace of things for everyone in different ways. During challenging times, it can be easy to overlook the goodness that is happening around us. At Community First! Village, our neighbors are used to being surrounded by hundreds of visitors and volunteers each week. With the Village currently closed to outside guests because of the public health crisis, our neighbors are missing a good chunk of the consistent community they rely on every day. While relationship building has looked a bit different at the Village lately, we are grateful for the friendships we have been able to form in this time, like Jeff Mucci and our friends with The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd.

This team of faithful friends has helped Community First! Village neighbors to stay safe by stocking an on-site food pantry at the Village. Having grocery staples on-site benefits our neighbors, especially those who have limited mobility, by enabling them to avoid having to take the bus off-site to go grocery shopping. While our Community Market that is open year-round in the Village helps our neighbors with convenience items and very basic grocery items, the donations provided by The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd group allow our neighbors the opportunity to load their pantries with nutritious and easy meal options. These wonderful friends have been consistent in showing up in this way for our neighbors, providing not only food but the peace of mind that comes from knowing that they have a place to get food when they need it. During the uncertain times we’re in, this level of consistency has helped our neighbors experience community in a new and different way. As we always say at Mobile Loaves & Fishes—food truly is a conduit for connecting with others human-to-human, heart-to-heart.

We are so thankful for the generosity of our friends at The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, as well as the many other individuals, groups and partners who have supported us during this time. Building community has been, and will always be, a priority of Mobile Loaves & Fishes, no matter the challenges we must face in doing so. We hope that today you are encouraged to find a new way to build relationships with your neighbors while being the Goodness in your community!