By SAMANTHA SMITH, Staff Writer | Published October 30, 2020
ATLANTA—Two local organizations are partnering to feed the homeless during the holiday season.
Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Georgia (SVdP) have experienced the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to guidelines for social distancing from the Centers for of Disease Control and Prevention, Ignatius House has hosted retreats with limited capacity, with their kitchens being used less often.
The annual Thanksgiving gathering hosted by SVdP was cancelled this year, as social distancing would not permit roughly 100 guests to gather for the holiday meal at the Chamblee office.
However, this Thanksgiving both organizations are uniting to feed the homeless in the community.
The chefs at Ignatius House will cook individually-prepared dinners of lemon-herb turkey, candied cinnamon yams, southern style cornbread dressing, garlic butter green beans and a dessert of apple pie or cranberry peach strudel for the homeless.
To help feed the hungry, Ignatius House asked for donations of $16.25 per meal and $65 for a family of four to prepare meals for 100 people. Not only have the organizers met their goal for the Thanksgiving meal but will also be able to prepare meals for Christmas.
“Donors have been extraordinarily generous,” said Maria Cressler, executive director of Ignatius House. “And it really speaks to people’s compassion for hardship at this time.”
Ignatius House offers retreats for homeless in recovery, giving them a sense of community and spiritual enrichment. The retreats are fully funded by donations.
For the retreat center, this was another way to serve those in need.
Our center “leads people to want to do willing and loving service to the poor,” said Cressler. “We want to be able to reach into the community and touch a real need.”