News Story

Food Initiative Helps Those in Ottawa–Gatineau Region

Each month over the past year, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have provided as many as 7,000 meals to residents of the Ottawa–Gatineau region.

The satellite bishops' storehouse of the Ottawa Ontario Stake is used by local bishops of the Church to provide goods to individuals in need. The objective of this program is to care for those individuals while teaching principles that allow them to become self-reliant and retain their self-respect.

On the first and third Saturday of each month, the gym of the Prince of Wales chapel in Ottawa is transformed into a food storehouse intended to benefit those who are struggling to make ends meet. A team of volunteers, including former patrons, sets up food purchased through donated funds and sourced by a local supermarket. Those identified as needing help take shopping carts and select their pre-approved items from the food and other commodities available.

“This was an answer to prayer about how to fill a need in our area,” said Terry Nemeth, president of the Ottawa Ontario Stake. Nemeth further noted that “there is a reverence at the satellite bishops’ storehouse as patrons gather to assemble their pre-approved food orders.”

Church members who work as service missionaries organize the storehouse and its volunteer staff. John and Joanne Plamondon (Murphy) are two of the service missionaries in the Ottawa Ontario Stake. “This is the best calling I ever had,” said Joanne, “a great opportunity to feel the Spirit.”

The help provided by the satellite bishops’ storehouse is available to residents of the Ottawa–Gatineau region. The storehouse has been especially helpful to those needing relief from the floods and tornadoes of the past year. The commodities are acquired through generous donations received from Church members in the region. Recipients are given opportunities to work for what they receive, to the extent of their ability.

“The Church does not do this for financial gain,” commented Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, an apostle of the Church, at the opening of the Church’s central storehouse. “We do not have cash registers … in our storehouses, nor do we accept money for the goods we distribute” (“New Bishops' Central Storehouse Ready to Serve the Needy,” Jan. 27, 2012).

The main motivation for providing this important service is because members of the Church care about those in their communities and desire to follow the example of Jesus Christ. Church members of the Ottawa–Gatineau region follow Christ's example to “love thy neighbour” (Matthew 22:39) as they assist those who receive help from the satellite bishops’ storehouse.

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