A million meals is a lot of food. If you put each of those meals on a 9” plate and lined them up side by side, that line of plates would go for almost 150 miles, or two hours of travel at freeway speeds! And here’s another stunner: Transfiguration has already provided more meals than Jesus provided in His entire earthly ministry. According to Scripture we have accounts of Jesus feeding a total of ten thousand people in two different events. Transfiguration has fed over a hundred times as many. In effect, Transfiguration has fulfilled a New Testament prophecy, one that appears in John 14 when Jesus is giving His final instructions and saying farewell to His apostles: “Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father”. Did you ever really believe you could do “greater works” than Jesus? Well, together we already have, and God’s Grace has only just begun! The miracle that a prophecy of Jesus could be fulfilled right in front of our eyes and in this small parish is somewhat breathtaking, and we pray we can continue to fulfill this prophecy for a long time. Be that as it may, the real miracle is this: that our Lord has so touched the hearts of His people here, that the seemingly overwhelming task of providing the funding for a million meals for our neighbors was actually no task at all! It was easy—and just so we all remember how easy it was, and how easy it will be for all of us to continue, here is a short summary of how we do it:
When the restricted account gets to between $300 and $600, the Jacob’s Kitchen program coordinators contact the United Food Bank in Mesa to find out which of UFB’s food distribution programs in the vicinity of Transfiguration need the most help in providing meals to the hungry in our neighborhood. These programs could be soup kitchens, food box programs, homeless shelters, family abuse centers, or any of the many groups that are working desperately to provide food relief in our area. An area where one in four children go to bed hungry and are classified by Federal Agencies as “at risk” for a daily meal, and where one in seven seniors are at risk for food. Once local programs are selected, Jacob’s Kitchen and your Vestry authorize cash grants to the accounts of those programs at United Food Bank to be used exclusively for the acquisition of food for distribution. UFB then informs the grant recipients that their accounts have been augmented and that food is available. How much food? Simple. Grant recipients pay an average of five cents a pound for food at United Food Bank, which means a Jacob’s Kitchen grant of $100 will provide two thousand pounds of food! Stated differently, this is more than enough to provide 2000 meals.
If this is beginning to sound a little bit like the Gospel account of the loaves and fishes, then you are absolutely right! If you were to spend $5.00 at a grocery store to buy food to donate to a distribution program, you would be able to provide either a large box of cereal, or maybe five cans of beans or vegetables. But if you give that same $5.00 to Jacob’s Kitchen, you will provide sufficient funding for 100 boxes of cereal or more than 500 cans of beans or vegetables! This is how Transfiguration has been able to provide the funding for over a million meals, so gracefully, so graciously, and so easily; and we pray not only that this grace and love will continue, but that other parishes, other churches and secular groups will see what the Lord has done with us and through us and to be inspired to do likewise.
In Christ, Bill & Nancy Robinson