Blue Bag Program






For I was hungry and you gave me food.......


In memory of Ron and Marge Larson, (pictured below) Mark & Mary Nauman have donated reusable blue bags as a tangible reminder to participate in our parish food drive.  On the last weekend of each month, you are invited to take a bag from one of the bins in the back of church, fill it with non-perishable food items and bring it back to church the following weekend.  The food donated on the first weekend of each month will be transported to one of our community food banks.  Please join in our parish effort to respond to the growing need of those facing hunger in our community.    

Ron & Marge Larson (Parents of Mary Nauman)



WHERE ARE THEY LOCATED?  On the LAST Sunday of each month, we will have the bags in the back of the Church for you to pick up after Mass.  Don’t worry, each month we will remind you they are there.  Center Vestibule, on a stand!  Also, on a stand in Presentation Hall.

Mary Nauman, daughter of Marge Larson, wanted to remember her mother in a special way!  Her idea: she wanted to put a tangible reminder of food-shelf needs in the hands of all St. Columbkille parish members, and the results could be impressive with YOUR help!  Mark & Mary wanted to make transporting food to the Food Pantry easier, and give extra help to a program that we already have established, FIRST SUNDAY FOOD DRIVE.


Mary Nauman, pictured with the bags her and husband Mark purchased,

in memory of her parents, Ron & Marge Larson

After distributing blue-colored, canvas-like tote bags to church-goers the weekend of May 30 & 31, Mary hopes to triple the amount of food that is donated!  Most of you know, our donations have fallen off tremendously.  Mary is hopeful the NEW Blue Bag Program will make a huge difference!  What a beautiful way to honor her parents!

How does it work:  A solution to hunger?   Yes, it can be!  HOW? St. Columbkille has it in the bag! SO, please grab a Blue Bag and join in our parish effort to respond to those who are facing hunger in our community. The bags are reusable and are meant to be taken to the grocery store, filled with foodstuffs, and brought back to church for transport to the Food Pantry. Everyone who drops off a bag of food at the church is invited to take an empty tote bag back home and repeat the process so that the St. Columbkille monthly food drive runs with ease!

Where are they located? In the CENTER vestibule of the Church, on a stand (made by Tom Thill) and also on a stand in Presentation Hall.  

Abby, Ryan, Ben & Maddie Kramer (left) and Malissa & Ava Sprenger (right)

                            helping to support the NEW Blue Bag Program                             


St. Columbkille has long supported our community’s food banks, organizing food donation drives on the first weekend of each month, but Mary recognized the community’s food needs were growing and our capacity to meet those needs hadn’t been fully tapped out.  Plus, we really can do more.  Think of what we have done in the past.  Remember all the bags that used to fill our church?  Have you noticed a decline in the bags you see on the FIRST Sunday of each month?    Unfortunately, while we have declined in donations, the amount of people in need of those donations in our community, has increased three-fold!

The reason Mary thinks the NEW Blue Bag will catch on:  the bag is a “reminder vehicle.” The food bags can be spotted in use at the grocery store, which is a great reminder to grab your Church bag and fill it up for those in need!   Each week, people grab their own personal food bags to fill up at the grocery for their families, and we think it will be easy for people to remember the parish BLUE BAG too!  On the FIRST SUNDAY of every month, we hope to see the Church overflowing with the totes filled with food!  We hope this kind of activity and the “visual” of the bags will be contagious!

Fr. Gabriel is a huge supporter and Mary’s wonderful donation will be bolstered by a message from the pulpit – “It’s visual – you have the Parish Blue Bag, so you think of the food pantry!  What a generous donation by Mary in honor of her mother, Marge Larson!  This also helps the parish Green Initiative by getting rid of all those plastic bags!”

The Food Pantry continues to see an increase in requests for food and other help. It is serving nearly 120 households per week, with the number growing by an average of five families per week.

Last year the food shelf, which serves those in need, distributed 406,000 pounds of food, 93 percent of which was donated by churches, businesses, individuals, neighborhood associations and local grocers.

Please help us!  Mark & Mary has so generously donated these Blue Bags, so please help us put them to good use!  Fill them up, and bring them back!  We so much want to comprehensively support our neighbors in need.  Together, we create a path towards self-sufficiency. 

Remember, please take your bags to the Baptismal font side when you bring them back to Church! 


The bags may be filled & placed by the Baptismal Font on the FIRST Sunday of the month


Quick note about the NEW BLUE BAGS:

Please ONLY use the bags for the purpose they are intended and for this program only. We are in real need of help to fill community pantries to help those in need.  If you would like to donate, we really want you to take a bag home with you and use it to bring back items.

They can be washed occasionally too, to help prevent bacteria build up!  Wash with care so the bags last!



St. Columbkille donation needs:

Monthly, you will be able to visit our website, some time on the THIRD week of every month to view specific needs, so that we may be able to fill the food pantries with what they really need! These are located below: (watch for the list to be posted in January for monthly needs.  We will be checking the pantry to see what is needed after the Christmas season!)


Parish Groups
Stewardship Booklet
Make a Donation
Photo Gallery

St. Columbkille Catholic Church

1240 Rush St.
Dubuque, IA 52003

(563) 583-9117

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