In Worcester’s Piedmont neighborhood, the Mustard Seed Catholic Worker Community is a staple for many.

Piedmont is a low-income neighborhood of roughly 90% rental properties, and the Mustard Seed is a long-standing hub for the community. Every weekday, hundreds of people come to the Mustard Seed for a warm meal, served by church groups, students and other volunteers.

On Tuesdays, the food pantry is open. Thanks to a recent partnership with the Worcester County Food Bank, the Mustard Seed has more than doubled the number of households they can help in a week and can now offer fresh produce, meat and dairy products. The food pantry is run by volunteers like Melissa and Tyler (pictured above), a mother and son duo who say coming to the Mustard Seed is the highlight of their week.

While a vital part of the community, the volunteers of the Mustard Seed recognize that the soup kitchen is not a solution.

“Some would say that in a country as rich as the United States, it is a failure that we’re still open,” says Paula Bushey, volunteer and board member. "People shouldn't have to go to a soup kitchen to get a free meal or wait in line at a food bank."

But if it is needed, the Mustard Seed will be there building community and serving with love.

To learn more about the Mustard Seed, visit

This story was originally published in our 2023 Annual Report.