LAKE OSWEGO —For weeks, members of Our Lady of the Lake Parish here have spent their quarantine experiences making thousands of sack lunches for those in need in the Portland metro area.

The food collected is part of the parish’s Mercy Teams Meals of Mercy program.

As of May 6, the parish had delivered 3,400 sack lunches to people in need. The lunches are being distributed to St. Francis Dining Hall, the Union Gospel Mission Search & Rescue, Salvation Army Female Emergency Shelter, St. Michael the Archangel Park Blocks Meals, The Father’s Heart Day Shelter, Life Change for Women & their Children and the Oregon Health Care Association.

“Your ‘Small Acts of Mercy’ are helping our most vulnerable in an important way,” wrote Michael Backus, Mercy Teams Member, in an email to the group’s other volunteers and supporters.

Backus said parishioners are excited to be helping the vulnerable in such a direct way.

“This started as a way to get our parish families involved,” said Backus. Parents have been very enthusiastic about having their children help out. Families provide a bottle of water, a fruit cup, a granola bar and a cookie for each bag. Sandwiches are either purchased or made on site at Our Lady of the Lake. There are close to 30 volunteers, all of whom are spaced out around the church campus, manning the collection events. Volunteers direct traffic, collect the lunches, organize the lunches, make the sandwiches and deliver them.

The response has been overwhelming, said Backus. The parish has been collecting lunches every Sunday for some weeks. Backus estimates 150 to 200 families have contributed.

—   Sarah Wolf