Humankind has always connected through food. Whether working together in a vegetable garden or orchard, passing down recipes in the kitchen, or sharing a table together, food helps us to connect and celebrate happy times.

The Mercy Action Group with the support of our Principal, Mrs Marg Blythman created the Community Connections Hospitality Program (CCHP) to help families create more happy times by staying connected with loved ones during current social distancing regulations. Working with the St Joseph’s College catering team, Mrs Louise McGlashan, Mrs Sally Fishwick and Mrs Kerrie Walsh the CCHP allows College families to order a meal and arrange contactless delivery to someone who is socially isolated.

All St Joseph’s College families can utilise this free service and order one meal for a person of their choice. The catering team prepare warming soups, delicious mains, and succulent sweet treats for each meal. Packed by and paired with handwritten notes from the Mercy Action Group, these tokens of love from afar have brightened the days of many lucky recipients.

Finding ways to continue living our Mercy values in these troubled times allows us to stay connected to our students’ families, and they in turn can give back to loved ones throughout Sunraysia.

Inspired by Catherine McAuley’s efforts, we are grateful that we can continue to honour her and celebrate the values of hospitality and community, even from a distance.

The program in action:

“I just had my mum on the phone in (happy) tears as she’s just received her meal from the school. It has warmed her heart so much and given her such a lovely surprise! Can you please pass on my thanks to everyone involved?”—Holly

“Thank you for the amazing Lunch that has been delivered to my son’s grandparents today, they are beside themselves and cannot thank St. Joes enough. What an amazing idea, in these uncertain times.”—Mandy

“My daughter ordered me a dinner with the school Mercy Action Group. It arrived today. Can you PLEASE pass on my heartfelt thanks!! I cried lol. It had been such a hard morning and it was the best blessing!! :)”—Anonymous

We heartily thank St Joseph’s College, especially the catering team and Principal Marg Blythman for their support of this initiative which continues to bring joy to so many.