Setting the table

The Congregation’s foundress, Maria Anna Brunner, was known for distributing loaves of bread to the hungry. With Mother Brunner in mind — along with the Congregation’s commitment to serve wherever the needs of the time call us — the congregational Council recently approved a significant donation to the local nonprofit Miami Valley Meals.

The donation enabled MVM to purchase a freezer and walk-in cooler and contributed to the costs of a community-wide Thanksgiving Day meal.

Tom Bensman, an MVM board member, and Amanda DeLotelle, the organization’s executive director, recently visited the congregational Council to share information about the quickly growing group. “When they told us about their efforts to feed the hungry, we couldn’t help but think of Mother Brunner and her love for the poor,” said Sister Edna Hess, President of the Congregation. “So we decided to help them to continue this great work.”

Miami Valley Meals was formed in March by Chef Matt DeAngulo, who rallied a group of fellow chefs who found themselves furloughed at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. DeAngulo was formerly the executive chef at Citilites, the fine dining establishment inside the Schuster Center in downtown Dayton.

He first collaborated with Bill Evans on getting the project off the ground. Evans was executive director of the House of Bread — the community kitchen co-founded by Precious Blood Sister Dorothy Kammerer — for over a decade, and owned and operated Evans Bakery in Dayton. He is also a member of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Dayton.

In a typical week, MVM cooks 4,500 meals and delivers them to numerous client organizations, which then distribute the meals to individuals and families. The day before Thanksgiving, 6,000 meals were handed out at two locations, University of Dayton Arena and Trotwood-Madison High School.

“What a joy for us as Sisters of the Precious Blood to contribute to this good work and thereby enable Mother Brunner to contribute to good works even today,” Sister Edna said.

Story by Mary Knapke

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