Foodie Friday is a ministry of Eastern Shore Chapel that hosts festive parties for the children and staff at Seton House Youth Shelters once a month.
Seton House Youth Shelter provides temporary housing, counseling and outreach services, 24 hours per day without charge, to youth in crisis throughout Hampton Roads, with the goal of reuniting families.
Eastern Shore Chapel started a partnership ministry with them in 2019. Jennifer Sieracki, the Executive Director of Seton House, came to speak at one of our WESC (Women of Eastern Shore Chapel) luncheon’s. She spoke of how the children were faced with many challenges there, but they all came together to eat dinner every night like family. We at Eastern Shore Chapel had just hosted a large party earlier that weekend that was full of decorations and wonderful homemade food and music for our own church family and were commenting about how “this joyful environment, if only we could give this to the world”. After listening to Jennifer’s talk, we asked her if we could try to bring some of this joyful environment to their community over at Seton. She spoke to the staff, and it started a wonderful partnership where we deliver a party to the kids and staff at Seton House, once a month.
In 2020 our ministry had to be placed temporarily on hold for a few months due to COVID concerns; however, we have successfully adapted so that we can continue to provide a joyful experience for the kids and some respite for the staff while ensuring we are cautious about everyone’s safety. In the past few months we hosted parties for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine’s Day.
Our original ministry had us cooking meals on-site at Seton, but now we have local restaurants preparing individual meals. Originally, we engaged in crafts and games with the kids hands-on, but now we are making pre-packaged craft bags and instructions that we pass to the staff for the children. We look forward to going again in person for dinner and crafts with the youth.
Despite Covid restrictions, Foodie Fridays are more appreciated than ever and give everyone at Seton some excitement when they see the day on the calendar. Foodie Friday, while adapted, continues to accomplish its mission, which is to bring joyful community to this place of temporary housing for God’s beloved children.
We are always looking for volunteers to come up with good pre-packaged craft or game activities for the children that would be in line with the themes of the evening. The children are aged 9-17 and we have both boys and girls. We could also always use suggestions for local restaurants that will pre-package approximately 20 meals that children would love. We can also always use your prayers for the ministry, the children and staff and Seton, and for all children that find themselves in challenging home situations and those who help them. If you have any questions or suggestions, please reach out to Allison Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-596-0143. If you are interested in learning more about Seton House and what they do, please visit them at www.setonyouthshelters.org