Angela Schaefer felt God’s call several years ago when she made a pilgrimage to Assisi, Italy, to learn more about St. Francis of Assisi, who gave up a life of privilege to live a simpler life of poverty.
“I heard the call then – that God was calling me to help feed the needy,” said the Notre Dame Regional High School science teacher.
She didn’t act on the call right away, but said God “has a way of pushing me.”
When she learned about Jesus in Disguise Food Pantry in Benton through a fellow teacher, she started volunteering. After a while, she asked about how the pantry acquired food. It sparked an idea of how she and her students could help.
Today Schaefer and her students are among the pantry’s major contributors. Their most recent contribution was cereal – nine tables of boxes stacked three feet high.
“She brings us a lot of food,” said Frank Glueck, who helps oversee the pantry. “She’ll ask, ‘What do you need?’ and then she brings it.”
Schaefer’s action plan is a simple one. She offers opportunities for Notre Dame students in various classes to earn extra credit by bringing in peanut butter, cereal, tuna – whatever the current need may be. Students also help deliver the items to the food pantry.
“Some kids would sell their mother to get extra credit,” she said and laughed. “I tell their parents I’m saving their grades and their souls at the same time.”