Marian Kelly to Retire After 39 Years with SoSA

To be honored with a Day of Giving on September 28

Marian Kelly, a founding member of the Society of St. Andrew

By Lynette Johnson

Nearly forty years ago, a community of faith was formed in rural Bedford County, Virginia. Two families covenanted together, to live simply and prayerfully, holding all things in common, following the model of the early church in Acts 2.

In all the time since, as the Society of St. Andrew grew from two families on a small farm to a hunger relief ministry with national impact, members of those same families have been involved in SoSA’s work on a daily basis. That continuity is a tie that has bound together decades of prayer, hope, and hard work. At the same time, it has led this ministry steadily forward, keeping SoSA focused on the essentials, and striving year-after-year to do more, to be more effective, and ever more faithful in its work.

More About Marian / Donate in Honor of Marian

The pioneering vision of Marian Kelly, of Ken and Jean Horne, and of Ray Buchanan, has sparked a movement that now spans the globe! Fresh produce rescue and recovery, and gleaning to feed hungry neighbors are now topics of conversation — and subjects of action — worldwide.

Marian Kelly, the last of SoSA’s founders to remain active in the day-to-day work, will retire on September 28, 2018. Marian has long served as the director of SoSA’s Potato & Produce Project. This is SoSA’s large-load recovery and distribution work, connecting produce suppliers, trucking companies, congregations, and food banks across 48 states, getting millions of pounds of healthy food to hungry people each year.

Marian may not have set out to change the world, and she’s probably too modest to admit she has done that. Now, SoSA will honor Marian in a manner consistent with her unceasing service – a day of giving. Board members and staff have donated money to serve as a matching gift, and September 28 is designated as a special day for donations to SoSA’s feeding ministry in Marian’s name. We hope you’ll join us in appreciation for Marian Kelly and her service to Society of St. Andrew since 1979.

In 2018, Marian Kelly talked about SoSA’s early history. This recording was played at a meeting of all staff:


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In the event I, or a registered family member, suffers any illness or accident requiring emergency hospitalization, medication, or other medical assistance while participating in a gleaning event, permission is given for any medical treatment which is deemed necessary and reasonable under the circumstances. I fully understand and comprehend that reasonable care will be exercised by the adult staff for this gleaning event to protect the safety of those involved. I understand that the field supervisor’s instructions must be followed at all times, and that I am responsible for any damages caused to fields, farms, or equipment by me/my family members not following these instructions.

Photos, videos, and other images in which I, or a registered family member, appear that are taken during gleanings may be used by the Society of St. Andrew for news coverage, newsletters, reports, displays, and for other print, broadcast, web, or electronic news or promotional purposes.

I do not hold the board, members, or employees of the Society of St. Andrew (SoSA,) or any volunteers liable for injury, bodily harm, accidents, or death of myself/my child during events sponsored by the Society of St. Andrew. Neither will I hold the person(s) who owns and/or operates the property from which we glean, salvage, or to which we deliver food, liable for accidents, injury, or death during the gleanings or other SoSA events.

For a PDF print version of this waiver, click here.

How the Story of the 12 Baskets is Connected to SoSA’s Name

Matthew 14:16-21

But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!” They said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” And He said, “Bring them here to Me.” Ordering the people to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds, and they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets. There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children.

2 Kings 4:42-44

[…]the man of God […] said, “Give them to the people that they may eat.” His attendant said, “What, will I set this before a hundred men?” But he said, “Give them to the people that they may eat, for thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and have some left over.’” So he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord.

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