Florida State Council

Knights of Columbus

St. John Neumann Council 5971 helps feed the hungry

The Knights of St. John Neumann Council 5971 and Archbishop McCarthy Assembly 3054 have had a long history of working on various projects to assist the St. Vincent DePaul Ministry at All Saints Parish in Sunrise, FL. The food pantry at All Saints has relied on the children of the parish to provide food items during the Masses. During the summers there is a natural drop off in food availability with school vacation and families traveling. There is no drop off however in the number of families in the community that have come to rely on the pantry to help supplement their kitchens to help feed their family. Currently the SVDP ministry works with 50-60 families a month to provide necessary food items.
Gary Blandino, past Grand Knight of the council worked with council members, Father Randy Musselman the pastor at All Saints and Dave Warkentien, leader of the St. Vincent DePaul Ministry to create a new in parish food drive program. The council has provided parishioners reusable cloth shopping bags with our council name, and "I was hungry and you gave me food (Matthew 25) printed on them. The bags are passed out on a monthly basis. Parishioners are then asked to utilize when they do their regular shopping and return to the church during the month. Members of the Knights and SVDP ministry then take the bags to the pantry area to be sorted and stored for distribution.
To kickoff the program and help publicize the need of replenishing the pantry on a continual basis, the council held a church picnic, where free hot dogs, corn on the cob, popcorn, drinks and cotton candy were available for all to enjoy. The initial results have been outstanding. The All Saints parishioners are taking full advantage of Buy One, Get One sales, warehouse shopping clubs and weekly specials to meet the goals of our program. 125 bags have been distributed and returned with over 1,000 pounds of food collected in the initial two months of the program.
An unexpected benefit for our council has been the addition of two new members who saw the good works being done by the Knights and decided they would like to be part of the Knights of Columbus.