Sandwich Ministries feeds Juneau's hungry

Posted: Friday, January 31, 2003

Sandwich Ministries is the calling of Juneau resident Norma Watt. It is, quite simply, making sandwiches for hungry people.

Under Watt's direction, 600 to 800 sandwiches are made at St. Paul's and distributed to The Glory Hole, St. Vincent de Paul and St. Martins.

Watt says the idea originated in a Catholic church in Anchorage and she first experienced it in a parish she and her family attended in South Carolina.

When the Watt family moved to Juneau they began attending church at St. Paul's. Norma remembers one Sunday sitting in church and hearing a homily about how humans walk past the poor, ignore those who need to be fed and conveniently don't see those in need.

She said she suddenly saw very clearly what she needed to do. On the ride home after church, she told her husband she was being called to help feed people.

In November 1998, Sandwich Ministries began in Juneau. Since that time close to 30,000 sandwiches have been given out.

Volunteers bring loaves of bread, lunch meat and cheese. Then they put together sandwiches and seal them in zip lock bags. Each zip lock bagged sandwich has a sticker on it made by children with a warm thought or blessing written on it. A dozen sandwiches are enclosed in a larger plastic bag, then placed in the freezer at St. Paul's. About 100 are delivered to St. Vincent de Paul's each month and the rest go to the Glory Hole.

The end consumers are people in transition from jobless to employed, without a means for lunch, emergency back up food and quick meals for hungry people.

Volunteer sandwich assemblers include Girl Scout troops, parishioners and Sunday school classes, but anyone is welcome to help.

Sandwiches are assembled on the first full weekend of every month, on Saturday at 6:30 p.m., Sunday at 11:45 a.m. and Sunday night at 6:30 p.m.

Anyone interested in Sandwich Ministries can find out more by calling Norma Watt at 789-2271.

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