HALO — Holy Apostles Lunch Outreach
HALO stands for Holy Apostles Lunch Outreach, one of the older outreach ministries of our parish. We were at first involved in feeding the hungry through donations of food to Community Kitchens at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in downtown Birmingham, especially at Thanksgiving. A deeper involvement came starting in 1996, when Judy Lee and Dr. David Bernard began working with Community’s work at Grace Episcopal Church in the Woodlawn district, serving some 35-50 people per “appearance.” Our work has continued since that time. (Our group’s name and acronym, which does not apply to all the groups working in this vital ministry, come from a contest held in the parish.)
Holy Apostles takes one day a month in a rotation calendar with other area churches to serve a nourishing lunch to people in Woodlawn who cannot afford a decent meal themselves. (We normally serve on the 3rd Sunday of each month.)
Volunteers drive up to Grace Episcopal on our scheduled Sunday, armed with such goods as salad makings, cookies, bread and fruit. (Holy Apostles is known among the guests of the lunch as the “Banana People,” due to a frequent item in our menu.) The main dish ingredients usually come from Community Kitchens, things such as meat for chicken noodle soup, or chili in the colder months, sack lunches in the summer. Between 80-100 people, possibly more, are now served in an average session. A few times a year, the meal is dressed up with donated turkeys or hams, with Community supplying some of the other fixings.
This outreach is one of the vital ministries that the Church can provide — showing the love of God for His creations in the caring of people for their fellow men and women. Volunteers and supplies are always needed for this work. Look for the sign-up sheets in the church narthex near the Nursery and Adult Sunday School rooms, or contact Janice Palmer, the ministry’s coordinator at Holy Apostles, to learn more. We like to have at least two men with us for crowd control purposes and the heavy “fetch and carry” work. Youths at least 16 are preferred; children 13-15 may participate only if accompanied by a responsible adult.