Last June, as the COVID pandemic caused a sharp rise in hunger and food insecurity, former OPCMIA Office Manager Nick Scholz, a Deacon at the Shrine of St. Jude Catholic Church in Rockville, Md., asked his union to support his church’s St. Stephen’s Food Pantry. General President Daniel E. Stepano immediately responded, authorizing the purchase of 10,000 grocery bags, enough for more than eight months of food distribution.

On February 8th, brother Scholz met with General President Stepano to discuss St. Stephen’s Pantry’s current needs, with the pandemic still causing high unemployment and rising poverty. General President Stepano authorized the purchase of 20,000 grocery bags for the pantry and then asked, “Is there anything else you need?”

Brother Scholz explained that families with the youngest children were facing especially difficult struggles, and General President Stepano immediately ordered the purchase of $2,600 for baby diapers.

Brother Scholz, his fellow volunteers at St. Stephen’s Pantry, and those they serve expressed their gratitude to the OPCMIA.

“Our union is about family and service,” General President Stepano said. “We believe in looking out for one another, especially in tough times. We’re proud of all that Brother Scholz is doing to help fellow parishioners and community members who are facing hardship, and we’re pleased to be able to support his wonderful efforts.”

OPCMIA members who wish to donate items to the pantry should send them to:

Larry Kilmer, St. Stephen’s Pantry
Shrine of St. Jude
12701 Veirs Mill Road
Rockville, MD 20853
Phone: (301) 946-8200