The Good Shepherd Parish in Oak Bluffs normally helps out about 80 Island families with bags of food on Saturday mornings.

Volunteer Laura Schubert. — Jeanna Shepard

This Saturday, the day before Easter, the Catholic church parish had handed out chock-full bags of food to 200 families by noon. And there were still hundreds of food baskets to go.

“It’s crazy,” said Joe Capobianco, who works with the church and was handing out baskets Saturday morning. “It looks like we already have over twice as many. These are hard times for everyone.”

Beginning at around 10 a.m., a line of cars, hundreds of vehicles long, stretched from the Oak Bluffs town hall to Our Market on New York avenue, all waiting to pick up food for their families. By the time they arrived at the parish building on School street, trunks were raised and windows were down, as a finely-honed system of masked-and-gloved volunteers placed bags of chicken, milk, onions, broccoli stir fry, corn, fruits and veggies in the back of their cars.

In an effort to limit exposure to the coronavirus, the volunteers consisted almost entirely of Mr. Capobianco’s family, as well as parish outreach coordinator Janay Dlabaj and her daughter. They remained upbeat throughout the morning — even masks unable to hide their smiles.

When cars came up, the volunteers didn’t ask for names, only the number of people in the family.

“Everybody’s been grateful,” said volunteer Laura Schubert. “Each week it’s grown exponentially, like the virus itself.”

Outreach coordinator Janay Dlabaj. — Jeanna Shepard

Part of the Rev. Father Michael Nagle’s outreach programming, the Good Shepherd Parish’s Feed My Sheep food basket service regularly take place on the second Saturday and Tuesday of every month. But since the coronavirus outbreak began, the church has transitioned to weekly handouts, as the virus continues to strain the resources of the Island.

“It’s never been like this,” Mr. Capobianco said.

The program is done in conjunction with the Greater Boston Food Bank. Every Friday, Mr. Capobianco makes the trip into the city to pick up the week’s delivery. Most of it comes at little or no cost. He normally picks up about 4,000 pounds of food. Last week, the number was closer to 10,000 pounds.

But this week he almost didn’t make it. Because of the bad weather and ferry cancellations on Friday, Mr. Capobianco decided to rush up to the city late Thursday in his rented Penske semi truck.

He caught one of the last ferries back to the Island, with a 14,000-pound truckload of food. It ensured that more than 200 Island families would have something to eat on Easter.

“Everybody is in need,” Mr. Capobianco said. “We’re just happy we can help.”

More pictures.