Turning a Requirement Into a Mission
In the summer of 2020 as the COVID lockdown was in full swing, John Carroll Catholic High School (JCCHS) senior volleyball player Hope Lacy began packing approximately 54 peanut butter sandwiches every Sunday evening for Food for Our Journey (FFOJ). FFOJ is a faith-based initiative that utilizes a food truck to deliver meals to the hungry, thus removing the travel requirement for those who are not mobile. Over the last two and a half years, Lacy has packed an estimated 5,832 peanut butter sandwiches, which have gone directly to feed the food insecure in Birmingham.
Lacy found that taking an hour or two every Sunday night to pack sandwiches was a fulfilling way to accumulate her required JCCHS service hours.
"Making sandwiches for FFOJ has been a great way to check off my required service hours around my busy school and volleyball schedule. I have found that breaking the service hours into smaller amounts and doing a little bit every week has paid off. Plus, it's nice to know that what I'm doing is helping others in our community. For example, I know 54 people will have something to eat each Monday because I took time the night before to make sandwiches," said Lacy.
Christine Golab is the assistant executive director of FFOJ, and she says that donors like Lacy are the lifeblood of their ministry. "Committed donors are critical to our mission. We depend on that constant flow of food, and even if we have a week when the donations are low, there is comfort in knowing that people like Lacy will be showing up."
Even though Lacy has already met all of her service hour requirements for graduation from John Carroll in May of 2023, she continues to make sandwiches every Sunday night.
"My parents and I agreed it would be good to continue helping FFOJ - it's become a habit now. My parents will jump in and help as well, so we've made it something we can do together," commented Lacy. "I want to continue doing service in college, too. I think it's the least that I can do, and it's very rewarding."
FFOJ estimates that in 2021 they served 143,761 meals to people who are food insecure in Birmingham. For more information about FFOJ, visit their website at www.foodforourjourney.org. In addition, the FFOJ truck accepts donations at John Carroll every Monday from 7-7:50 a.m. throughout the school year.