South El Paso Convent That Feeds The Needy Needs Community's Help

POSTED: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - 2:28pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - 3:54pm

Some people who don't know where their next meal is coming from are able to find it at a convent in South El Paso. The Queen of Peace Convent also provides dozens of Borderland families with groceries. But the sisters need your help to continue what the convent has done for 80 years: helping the poor and the hungry.

Seven days a week, the sisters at the Queen of Peace Convent in South El Paso feed those who need a meal.  "I have some people in the community that live under bridges," said Sister Martha.

The convent has housed hundreds of nuns since it opened in 1927 and those nuns, like Sister Martha have helped feed and clothe thousands of people in the Borderland.

"They receive food. They receive meat. They receive maybe tortillas or bread and desert, as well. Every day," said Sister Martha.

Sister Martha and six other nuns with the Servants of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of the Poor cook the meals with the help of volunteers.

One by one, as many as 30 people each day reach for a plate of hot food and sit in the shade to eat.

Donna Little John says she's been coming to the Queen of Peace Convent since last summer.  "I live under the bridge," said Donna. "It's very cold there at night. And sometimes, you know, it's bad. But me and my friends make it, thanks to the nuns."

Donna's from Lubbock. She says she had nowhere to turn when she came to El Paso. Then one day she heard about the convent.  "The reason I came here is to try to stop drinking," said Donna. "And that's the reason I came here, for spiritual reasons. Because I drinked a lot and I wanted to stop drinking for my kids."

Something else the sisters do for the community is hand out groceries and vegetables each Thursday afternoon for people who cant make ends meet.

"Most of the women who come here have kids, are singles mothers," said Roxana Rodriguez, who's been getting groceries from the convent for several years. "A lot of them are widows. There are elderly women and young women in great need."

Roxana says without the convent's help, she would not be able to provide a meal for her family three times a day.

"We would not have enough because everything at the store is so expensive. With the help they give us, we spend less at the store," said Roxana.

Here's where you come in. The convent can only share the amount of food which the community donates and, right now, Sister Martha says they really need the community's help and support and they're asking for donations.

"Clothes, food, shoes, anything you have in a good condition, you can bring it to the convent," said Sister Martha.

Sister Martha says they also take all sorts of donated items because, once a month, the convent holds a yard sale and they use the money to help buy more food and necessities. It all helps people just like Donna.

"The sisters make me feel like my family, my big family of God. To me, they're like angels sent from God," said Donna.

Sister Martha says they need money, food, clothes, disposable serving plates and eating utensils, serving utensils and, of course, volunteers. They also need an extra restroom because they only have one for all the people who show up.

To donate money, your time, your kitchen items and anything else, you can drop it off at the Queen of Peace Convent. Their address is 3119 Pera, El Paso, TX 79905. You can also reach them at 799-5003 or 533-0590.

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