Gatchina, Russia, November 13, 2020
At the end of September, the Social Department of the Gatchina Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church received $6,465 (500,000 rub) from the Synodal Charity Department to purchase groceries those in need during the pandemic.
With the funds, the diocese put together 1,000 food packages, and nearly 8 tons of food were provided to 800 need families. Local benefactors also made their own contributions, reports the Synodal Department’s website.
When the diocese received the aid, it contacted its parishes that are know to be active in social service and coordinated with them to identify the needy families, explains Fr. Alexiy Dudin, head of the Diocesan Social Department. Large families were prioritized, who always have a hard time, Fr. Alexiy said, and who are especially struggling during the pandemic.
The food sets included canned fish, stew, cereals, pasta, sunflower seed oil, sugar, coffee, and tea, and cupcakes for children. Each set weighed 15.5 pounds. Families with more than 7 children received two full sets.
Local businesses provided their own food packages that included bread and dairy products, as well as clothing and household cleaning supplies.
The aid was distributed in cities and villages throughout the Gatchina Diocese.
With funds raised by the Synodal Charity Department, food aid has been sent throughout Russia and abroad since the beginning of the pandemic. In May, the Russian Church distributed food to more than 70 poor families in the Philippines.