A new facility now houses homeless adults in Hackensack, but it does not accommodate families with small children, which is the fastest-growing segment of the homeless population. As a result, in 2011 the IRF changed its focus and changed its name to Family Promise of Bergen County, and St. Andrew's became one of the first congregations to volunteer to be a Family Promise sponsoring congregation.
We now provide meals and shelter for as many as four families with up to 14 parents and children for three one-week segments a year. Nearly all of the members of St. Andrew's are involved with our sheltering programs, and we also engage many volunteers from other nearby churches and communities in this important ministry.
Since 1993 we have conducted an annual community-wide food drive. Members of St. Andrew's, as well as other volunteers, deliver an empty grocery bag to each of the nearly 1,600 homes in Harrington Park, asking that they be filled with groceries and returned to the church.
Each year we collect about 300 bags of groceries (more than two tons of food), which we distribute to nearby food pantries. Since we began, we have collected food worth over $100,000.
Each Sunday our younger children pass a basket during the Offertory to collect canned goods and other non-perishables. These are then distributed to local food pantries.
Our parishioners participate every fall in this walk to raise funds to combat hunger worldwide. St. Andrew's usually ranks in the top three participating congregations in our area in terms of money raised and the number of participants who walk.
In addition to the love and labor we invest in outreach, St. Andrew's gives direct financial support to our Diocese and other organizations.