Sievers Receivers Food Drive Opens : Father Carroll’s Charity Given a Good Kickoff for ’85

Times Staff Writer

Fifty thousand pounds of bread, soup, rice and beans arrived Tuesday in the parking lot at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium, kicking off the first day of the Sievers Receivers food drive, officials said.

The three-day event, which helps the St. Vincent de Paul Center feed the hungry and homeless, should gather another 50,000 pounds of food from private donations this weekend, said Father Joe Carroll, center director.

Carroll said he hopes that more than 3,000 people will turn out with canned food and other non-perishable items Saturday and particularly on Sunday, during the Chargers-Raiders football game.


The donated food will be used to feed the more than 1,000 people who show up at the center, at 16th and Market streets, each day.

With the closure of the 5th Avenue San Diego Rescue Mission last month, other local organizations have strained to feed and house the people the mission would otherwise have helped.

The director of the City of Angels Mission, the Rev. Billy J. Moy, said that since the 5th Avenue mission closed, an average of 3,500 extra people come to his mission during the week.

“It’s about to destroy us,” he said. “Right now, I’m at a loss in what we’re going to do for Thanksgiving.”

Moy said that, with his mission’s food fund dwindling from $6,000 to $623 since the San Diego Mission closed, times have been much harder.

“It’s about to break my back,” he said. “I’ll be tickled to death when they get open again because I’ll be able to get back to my own ministry,” which consist of feeding needy families--not the city’s homeless.


The San Diego Catholic Worker, which occasionally receives food from the St. Vincent de Paul Center, has had to extend its food service twice--first to the afternoon and now to the evening.

“It’s been a strain on us, but somehow we’ve been able to deal with it,” an official for the Catholic Worker said. “We’re not used to serving but one meal a day.”

Carroll acknowledged that the closing of the mission had hampered the regular duties of surrounding missions but, he says, most of the missions have taken on the added responsibility and “picked up the slack.”

Food donations received Tuesday came from Holsum Bakery, Campbell’s Soup Corp. and the Christian Broadcasting Network, in its Operation Blessing program. Last year Campbell’s Soup and CBN donated almost 100,000 pounds of food, Carroll said.

The Sievers Receivers food drive is named for Chargers tight end Eric Sievers, who has played an important role in keeping food in the mission’s cabinets.

In addition to helping out with the food drive, Sievers pledges $25 for every catch he makes during a football game and $50 for every touchdown catch. So far this season, Sievers has caught 35 passes and scored five touchdowns.


“I think it’s great how sports stars such as Eric get involved and help the poor,” Carroll said.