“When everyone comes together to do a little, it so easily turns into a lot.”  This is Colin McGonigal’s approach to leading the casserole collection for Our Daily Bread at his parish, Sacred Heart, Glyndon.

With the help of more than 75 faith-based communities, schools, businesses, and groups of friends who are committed monthly casserole makers, Our Daily Bread is able to serve the average 100 casseroles per day that is required to offer the program’s 700 daily guests a warm mid-day meal.

Sacred Heart is one of the many active and long-time casserole groups. For over 15 years, they have been putting together their specialty, Zippy Beef – a play on pasta in meat sauce.

“The casserole program is only as successful as the people involved, and Sacred Heart has been doing a wonderful job getting people involved,” says Doris Franz-Poling, volunteer manager at Our Daily Bread. “After adding up the casserole donations one month, Sacred Heart had delivered more than 300 pans. I called Colin because I thought that we had double counted a delivery.”

There was no mistake; Sacred Heart has been delivering record numbers of casseroles, around 300 pans per month for nearly the past year.

“I wish I could take all of the credit, but the secret is giving everyone an opportunity to help out,” says Colin. He explains that it is not just parish families who contribute to the casserole program, but also many groups who get together to help prepare the meals. The groups including the Knights of Columbus, the parish school, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, and the parish Young Adult Group.

“It truly is a collective effort,” Colin says. “I remember one time a woman was handing me pan after pan from her car, so I said wow, did you make all of these. Turns out, she goes around her neighborhood picking up everyone’s pans.”

Colin also attributes “making it convenient for people and not asking any one person to do too much,” to the success of his parish’s casserole program. The parish has designated times in the morning and evening when casserole makers drop off their frozen prepared casseroles and other volunteers take turns delivering all the pans to Our Daily Bread. They also collect dry goods for Our Daily Bread each month, which gives people another way to help out.

For more information about the casserole program at Our Daily Bread or other volunteer opportunities, please contact the volunteer office at volunteerodbec@cc-md.org.

Our Daily Bread Hot Meal Program