Jan. 13, 2018 Twelfth Annual David Hopkins Spaghetti Dinner

Twelve years ago our Service Ministry, a group of parishioners led by David Hopkins, was brainstorming service project ideas at their monthly meeting. Tami Sandke mentioned there was a food pantry at St. Mark’s in City Heights and thought maybe we could find a way to support it. Feeding people was something we knew how to do…and bingo – the annual spaghetti dinner was born.

For just a can of food , diners get a complete homemade dinner of spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread. That first dinner that served about 80 people has grown and now serves over 250 meals.  Last year we donated two carloads of food for St. Mark’s pantry and $520 in cash donations. All cash donations at the door go directly to St Mark's; no expenses are deducted . Cash donations enable St. Mark’s to purchase food in bulk, in a very cost- efficient manner, from the Feed American program.

The students and families at Christ Church Day School have supported the venture from the start not only with contributions of food. The fifth and sixth graders act as hosts and servers, and the first graders decorate placemats and wrap cutlery sets.

"This is such a fun Christ Church tradition and the best way to kick off the new year,” said Sarah Shealy Stump, current Service Ministry chair. “It brings together our day school and parish families, so it's a wonderfully unifying event for Christ Church AND we get to shower St. Mark's, our partners in ministry, with love, support and appreciation for the amazing work they do every day. It's a win-win-win!"

St. Mark's Neighborhood Food Pantry began informally about 15 years ago. By 2011 they would serve about 50 families a month. They now serve between 250-350 each month. Each guest receives one bag of non-perishable food items (about 10-15 lbs.)St. Mark’s is registered with 211, the country social service referral site, and will serve anyone in San Diego County. About 80% of those served reside in City Heights, about 20% identify as homeless, over 1/3 are seniors and about 1/3 indicate they have children under 18 living at home.

Heather Smith, administrator at St. Mark’s, says, “The Neighborhood Food Cupboard relies 100% on donations of food and money. There is no budget for this program; so without donations, we do not have food to offer. Heather will be at Christ Church for the Sunday forum at 9:00 a.m. January 28. Come and learn more about the food pantry, and the greater mission of the church in the community-- what they do to serve their neighbors and why they do it the way they do! 

Top Food Items Needed:

Canned fruit

Canned beans (baked bean, black beans, refried beans, pinto beans)

Pasta Sauce

Tuna & Canned chicken

Cereal & Oatmeal

Protein Bars and Snack Bars

Dried fruit and nuts