Archive for the ‘Feeding the Hungry and Sheltering the Homeless’ Category

Catholic Charities Gala Honors CIT Group Chair, General Maritime Founder & the Altman Foundation

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014
Peter C. Georgiopoulos & John A. Thain

Peter C. Georgiopoulos & John A. Thain

His Excellency Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan and the Board of Trustees of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York will honor John A. Thain, Chairman and CEO, CIT Group Inc. and Peter C. Georgiopoulos, Founder and Chairman, General Maritime Corporation at its Gala Benefit at The Waldorf-Astoria on Wednesday, February 26 at 6:30 p.m.

A special recognition will also be given to the Altman Foundation. Altman will receive the Catholic Charities Good Neighbor Award for their long standing commitment to and support of the mission of Catholic Charities.

“Our annual gala continues to be a vibrant display of collaboration with New York’s generous business community to provide help and create hope in the lives of our neighbors who need a helping hand,” said Executive Director, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan. “Our ability to help New Yorkers in need – non Catholics and Catholics alike – and to build a more compassionate and just New York is writ large because of the partnerships Catholic Charities forges with both business and government. This event highlights the critical and effective role Catholic Charities plays in building a better New York.”

The Catholic Charities gala will once again convene a dynamic group of New Yorkers from the worlds of business, philanthropy, culture, fashion, law, media, politics and religion who share a deep concern for the well-being of New Yorkers in need. The event raises more than $2 million annually.

Pat Battle, anchor for NBC4 New York, will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies. Award-winning actress, singer and dancer Sutton Foster, who held leading roles in several Broadway productions including Thoroughly Modern Millie, Shrek: The Musical and Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein, will perform live.

Honoree John A. Thainhas enjoyed a distinguished career in the financial services sector and continues to be a leader in the field. Before joining CIT Group Inc. as Chairman and CEO in 2010, he served as Chairman and CEO of Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. and previously served as CEO and a director of NYSE Euronext, Inc. and President and COO of The Goldman Sachs Group, L.P. He is a member of the MIT Corporation Board, the Dean’s Advisory Council of MIT/Sloan School of Management and the U.S. National Advisory Board of INSEAD. He also serves on the Board of Managers of the New York Botanical Garden, is a member of the Board of Directors of the French-American Foundation and is a trustee of New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

“I have long been impressed by the dedication and commitment of Catholic Charities and their efforts to provide food, shelter and comfort to those most in need,” said Mr. Thain. “This evening offers us an opportunity to recognize their work and will help ensure that they have the necessary resources to solve the problems of New Yorkers in need.”

Fellow honoree Peter C. Georgiopoulos has over twenty years of experience in the international shipping industry and is currently chairman of four publicly listed companies. He is Founder and Chairman of General Maritime Corporation, a leading crude and products tanker company. Mr. Georgiopoulos is also the Founder and Chairman of Genco Shipping & Trading Limited and Baltic Trading Limited. Since December 2006, Mr. Georgiopoulos has presided as Chairman of Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc., a leading independent supplier of marine fuel. He serves on the Board of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, the Alfred E. Smith Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House.

“Charity is often described as the greatest virtue. Tonight’s celebration highlights the wisdom of that saying as we come together, regardless of our faiths, to help ensure that the neediest members of our New York family get the help they deserve,” said Mr. Georgiopoulos. “Catholic Charities has made important and lasting changes for a better New York. I’m honored to be recognized, and more importantly, honored to help Catholic Charities carry forward its important, life-changing work.”

Stay tuned for photos of the big event.

 

Catholic Charities Honored with Food Bank Borough of Excellence Award!

Monday, February 17th, 2014

By Alice Kenny

 

The NYC Conference on Hunger and Poverty awarded this distinction to Catholic Charities Site Manager Carmen Reyes on January 22 for adapting Toyota’s proven method to turn Catholic Charities Washington Heights Ecumenical Food Pantry into a model of efficiency.

Ms. Reyes credits her success to need, vision and teamwork.  But the key, she adds, was the contribution made by Walter Martin, a recent grad from Lafayette College with a degree in civil engineering.

 

Walter adapted Toyota’s “Kaizen” thought process– Japanese for “continuous improvement” — to analyze “where I am; where I need to be and how do I get from here to there.”

Less than two years ago, Washington Heights’ food pantry was characterized by lines that circled the block.

Now, thanks to Mr. Martin’s simple computer program, folks pick up food bank tickets in the morning and return at appointed hours.  They are warmly greeted by Ms. Reyes.  They receive their food in minutes.  And they receive case management services to help them live more independently.

Numbers quantifying the program’s success are astounding.  This food pantry that used to serve 50 people per hour now serves between 100 – 130 people.  Clients wait minutes, not hours, receiving food donations between 2 – 2.5 times faster.  And instead of just receiving donations, they now also get prescreened for SNAP (food stamps) and receive a range of support spanning from immigration referrals to help filing for tax returns.

As for the Kaizen model of continued self improvement, Carmen says she is not stopping with this success.

Her next plans?

She hopes to recruit volunteers to deliver groceries to the home bound, the elderly and the disabled.

Teens Team Up to Fight Hunger

Monday, February 10th, 2014

WHITE PLAINS — Christopher Martinez hefted a cardboard box containing non-perishables like Cheerios and Wacky Mac macaroni headed for the hungry, reports Alex Taylor in The Journal News.

“I wanted to come here because I wanted to help people,” said Martinez, 15, a sophomore at Lincoln High School in Yonkers and member of the St. Peter’s Parish. “Just seeing people in the street when I have so much at my house.”

About 50 Catholic and Jewish teens gathered at UJA’s Westchester offices in White Plains on Sunday afternoon to sort and pack a room piled high with hundreds of bottles, cans and cartons of nonperishable food as part of an interfaith food drive. The outpouring of donations were later delivered to local food pantries.

The event held capped off ‘Feeding Our Neighbors: An Interfaith Response, ‘ organized by Catholic Charities and the United Jewish Appeal. This Archdiocesan-Wide Drive to Replenish Food Pantries ran from Sunday, January 26th – Sunday, February 2nd 2014. Its goal was to provide 1,000,000 additional meals for hungry New Yorkers, non-Catholics and Catholics alike.
The documented increase in hunger among New York children and families combined with the Senate’s recent vote for yet deeper cuts in the SNAP food stamp program makes the impact of this campaign, now in its third year, even more profound.

One out of five New York families now struggles to feed their children. As a result, hungry families, children and the elderly are braving snow, ice and freezing temperatures to reach local food banks. Catholic Charities food banks served 48% more meals in December 2013 compared with one year earlier.

At Sunday’s event, William Gregson expressed concern about the number of New Yorkers who go hungry on a regular basis.

“I just want to make sure everybody who is in need can get food,” said Gregson, 15, a student at Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua.

Check out this Journal News video interview with Catholic Charities Catholic Charities Special Assistant to the Director Luz Tavarez-Salazar who is coordinating the Feeding Our Neighbors campaign .

Faces of Hunger

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

By Alice Kenny

Yet another day of snow, ice and freezing rain. New Yorkers we know now face the choice of keeping warm or feeding their families.

They commute from food bank to soup kitchen as the Senate poises today to vote on still deeper cuts in the SNAP food stamp program.

For budget crunchers, these hungry children and families are just a number.

For us, they are folks we know, care about and serve.

We invite you to meet a few of the faces of hunger introduced by the Hunger Action Network of NYS.*

Kim

Family of two, a disabled grandmother and her granddaughter

We don’t get enough SNAP benefits to cover me and my granddaughter. We are so grateful for the food pantry. It helps us out a lot. Most of the money we have is from SSI, and it just cover bills to survive. There is no room for any extras.

Kim relies upon SNAP benefits, free lunch programs, food pantries, and church assistance in order to provide enough food for her family.

Kim says:
If we didn’t have these programs, we would suffer a lot more than we do. The struggles from day to day would be a lot worse than they are. We try our hardest, because we know others have needs also.

Faces of Hunger – Kim

Faces of Hunger – Kim

Colleen

Disabled, and living alone.

I receive food stamps and do not get enough to get through the month without this program. Food pantries have definitely subsidized my needs. Without these services, I would probably go hungry most months.

Faces of Hunger – Colleen

 

Laureen

I am poor and disabled. My son lives with me, and grandkids are with me on the weekends. SNAP doesn’t stretch.

Faces of Hunger – Laureen

 

Beth

I am a divorced, diabetic woman. My 19 year old grandson lives with me.

I lost my job as an accountant for my town, because of tax cuts. My trailer is old and falling apart. My van is old and in constant need of repairs. I still have student loans which I have to pay, and my grandson has student loans as well. I have over $125.00 in medicine costs per month.

I get a small amount of SNAP, so I really appreciate the help from the food pantry. I hope to get HEAP this year.

Faces of Hunger – Beth

 

Debbie

Debbie’s household consists of herself and her boyfriend. She only gets food stamps and SSI, and her boyfriend was laid off from work. They depend on SNAP and the food pantry in Cuba as their primary food resources. Debbie feels that these services are “really good for helping anyone” in need.

Faces of Hunger – Debbie

Faces of Hunger – Debbie

 

Katherine (Kathy)

There are ten in Katherine’s household, including five adults and five children. Three of the adults are on disability, and are diabetic. One of the children is a special needs child. One adult works full time in a minimum wage job, and another works two part time jobs. The household has many medical and car repair bills. They receive SNAP benefits, which helps them buy food for the children, and participate in local food pantry programming. The also get HEAP benefits, which help them heat their large house which has especially high heating bills in the winter.

She writes:
“Without these services, we wouldn’t be able to keep everyone fed.

Faces of Hunger – Kathy

Faces of Hunger – Kathy

 

Jenn

Jenn’s family consists of two adults and two children. Her daughter has medical issues, and needs a wheat, gluten, and corn free diet. Her food is, therefore, very expensive. Both Jenn and her daughter are disabled, and their income is limited. The only receive $80 a month for food stamps, and that doesn’t go far enough for all of their nutritional needs. They frequently find themselves out of food and Cuba Cultural Center’s food pantry helps them out a great deal. If they didn’t receive SNAP benefits and go to the food pantry, the children would be eating while Jenn and her boyfriend went hungry.

Faces of Hunger – Jenn

John

John is retired and lives alone. He has no central heat, no water, and only minimal electricity. His house needs a great deal of work. He is happy that he has a roof over his head and can be relatively warm.

John shares:

“Everything, and I mean everything, has become so much more expensive. Being on minimal Social Security Retirement, and having severe arthritis makes it difficult and limits my options. The food pantry makes it a bit easier and give that ever important “hope” to live.”

Because of the food pantry, John doesn’t feel so alone anymore.

John does receive SNAP benefits, and looks forward each month to the day when those benefits come in. Food pantries provide John with “additional nutrition and eases the financial strain of purchasing groceries.” He describes his local food pantry as being “very much like a social gathering, a bringing together of community.” John feels this is “very healthy and healing for all involved.”

Faces of Hunger – John

Faces of Hunger – John

 

Tonya & Family

Tonya is a single mom with three young children. She is unable to work and is applying for disability. Life is difficult, and Tonya struggles every month to make sure that her children’s needs are met. They have benefitted greatly from SNAP, financial and food pantry assistance, and subsidized housing. Without these programs, Tonya would be unable to provide for her family.

Faces of Hunger – Tonya & Family

*Hunger Action Network of NYS

Learn more about SNAP cuts the U.S. Senate plans to vote on today.

Help Us Feed Our Neighbors.

CYO Celebrates Super Bowl as It Helps Feed Our Neighbors

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

By Alice Kenny

Cheering and booing as the Seahawks trounced the Broncos, CYO teammates, coaches and kids from Resurrection parish in Rye gathered yesterday at Butterfield 8 restaurant in White Plains to celebrate the Super Bowl and raise funds for the Feeding Our Neighbors campaign.

Over 50 families from Resurrection’s CYO program attended this event they organized and hosted. Together, they raised more than $10,000 for the Feeding Our Neighbors campaign that will enable us to feed 40,000 additional hungry New Yorkers.

The Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) is a division of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York. CYO programs across the Archdiocese participated in the Feeding Our Neighbors food drive campaign.

The campaign represents a united effort to fight hunger. It responds to Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s call that we all do our part to replenish the food pantries and soup kitchens in our community that so many families in our community rely on to survive.

100% of contributions to the campaign will support local food pantries that serve New Yorkers, non-Catholic and Catholic alike.

The NFL season has ended but hunger continues to grow.

Help us Feed Our Neighbors.

Click here and specify “Feeding Our Neighbors” in the comments field.
Or text “CCHOPE” to 85944 to make a quick, easy $10 donation.

Cardinal Dolan Visits Holy Rosary & Don Bosco Community Center in Portchester

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

 

During Cardinal Dolan’s visit to Holy Rosary parish and its Don Bosco Community Center in Port Chester on Friday,  he spoke of the strong collaboration of Catholic Charities with both the parish and the center.

Catholic Charities social worker Mariana Duenas has been providing professional services for almost a decade.  The Don Bosco Community Center was the site of a recent Feeding Our Neighbors service event.

Our immigration services have provided informational sessions at the parish.  There is a connection being developed with day laborer programs at the Don Bosco Worker Center and the Obreros Unidos de Yonkers at St. Peter’s parish in Yonkers.

Just 3 Days Left for Feeding Our Neighbors Campaign

Friday, January 31st, 2014

By Alice Kenny

Only three days left for you to pitch in with Feeding Our Neighbors, our Archdiocesan-wide weeklong drive to replenish food pantries supporting non-Catholics and Catholics alike.

“Pope Francis recently wrote ‘if we don’t share our life is a slow suicide,’” Timothy Cardinal Dolan told a crowd at St. Patrick’s Cathedral at the kickoff to this year’s campaign.  “And this is a very simple from-the-heart appeal to share food and it works at this cold time of the year when Christmas charity is almost exhausted and when people are looking for food.”

There is just one goal for Feeding Our Neighbors: that New Yorkers answer the call to feed those who are suffering in our community.

Click here and join us in Feeding our Neighbors and  specify “Feeding Our Neighbors” in the comments field on our Online Gift page.

Or text “CCHOPE” to 85944 to make a quick, easy $10 donation. 

Watch and listen as Cardinal Dolan speaks about Feeding Our Neighbors at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

“The Feeding Our Neighbors campaign works,” Cardinal Dolan said.

Catholic Charities Speaks Against Devastating Cuts for Hungry New Yorkers

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Catholic Charities joined elected officials, religious leaders and advocates at St. Francis Xavier Church in Manhattan today to urge  U.S. senators to vote against the harsh cuts to SNAP (food stamp) benefits passed today by the U.S. House of Representatives.

The U.S. House Farm Bill would slash SNAP funding by $9 billion -  in addition to  $5 billion in SNAP cuts that went into effect on November 1st.

“The people standing here today fear greatly for what may be in store,” Catholic Charities Feeding Our Neighbors Director Jeanne McGettigan told the crowd.  “The system is already strained to the limit.  It isn’t designed to bear this type of burden.”

Catholic Charities food banks served 48% more meals in December 2013 compared with one year earlier.  Hungry families, children and the elderly are trudging to food banks and pantries even on the coldest days, including January 7 when temperatures dropped into the single digits and  New York officials urged everyone to stay home.

SNAP is our nation’s first line of defense against hunger.  More than half of SNAP recipients are children, seniors, veterans and people with disabilities.  Meanwhile, low-wage workers who do not earn enough to afford sufficient food for their families make up an increasing number of SNAP recipients.

During this extended period of high unemployment, SNAP has helped millions of families afford the food they need.  It also supports our economy at every link in the food chain, from the farmer to the consumer.  Cutting SNAP puts jobs at risk in communities throughout New York.

Since the across-the-board cuts in SNAP took effect in November 2013, we have seen alarming levels of need created when benefits are reduced.  The new U.S. Farm Bill cuts will take away hundreds of millions of meals from struggling households and individuals.

Catholic Charities and others that make up the last line of defense against hunger – including food banks, food pantries and soup kitchens – cannot fill in such a gap.

“There can never be enough grants and food drives to fill this gaping need,” Ms. McGettigan said.

If you want to voice your opposition to these devastating cuts, contact the office of Senator Chuck Schumer and urge him to vote against the farm bill.

Read more in CNA/EWTN News

U.S. House Votes to Slash Food Stamps Further

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

U.S. House of Representatives voted today to make further slashes of close to $9 billion in food stamp funding for hungry New Yorkers.

These cuts would be in addition to $5 billion in cuts that went into effect on November 1st.

This means more cuts for the 1.8 million New Yorkers who rely on the program to feed their families.

Parents and children are already hungry since the last cuts just 3 months ago of between $30 – $50 per family.

 

Join us in helping those in need.  Support our Feeding Our Neighbors campaign.

This united effort to fight hunger responds to Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s call that we all do our part to replenish the food pantries and soup kitchens that so many families in our community rely on to survive.

Feeding Our Neighbors, an archdiocesan-wide campaign to combat hunger, ends this Sunday, February 2, 2014.

Supported by parishes, schools and other organizations throughout the Archdiocese of New York and managed by Catholic Charities, Feeding Our Neighbors will use 100% of contributions to the campaign to support local food pantries that serve New Yorkers, non-Catholic and Catholic alike.

There is no time to wait.

New Yorkers are hungry.
Help us Feed Our Neighbors now.

Click here to donate through Catholic Charities and type “Feeding Our Neighbors” in the comments field.

Reading this on your cell phone?  Text “CCHOPE” to 85944 to make a quick $10 donation.

Dollar-for-Dollar Matching Offer Doubles Your Feeding Our Neighbors Donations

Monday, January 27th, 2014

By Alice Kenny

Check the thermometer daily to see how your contribution helps feed our neighbors

The numbers are frightening:  One out of five New York families struggle to feed their children.

Join us in fighting back.  Join now and join fast.

Right now, thanks to time-sensitive matching contribution offers, we can make your donation to fight hunger go farther with our 2014 Feeding Our Neighbors campaign.

An anonymous donor just added a $6,000 dollar-for-dollar matching offer to the New York States Council Knights of Columbus Charities $1,000 dollar-for-dollar match.  That means that this week, with your help, we will have at least $12,000 towards our goal of funding one million meals for hungry New Yorkers.

But you must act quickly.  The Feeding Our Neighbors campaign that kicked off on January 26 ends this Sunday, February 2.

Feeding Our Neighbors is a united effort to fight hunger. Initially launched by Timothy Cardinal Dolan in 2011 and run for the past two years in partnership with UJA-Federation, it responds to Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s call that we all do our part to replenish the food pantries and soup kitchens in our community that so many rely on to survive.

Click here to donate - and write “Feeding Our Neighbors” in the comments field.

Reading this on your smart phone?  Text CCHOPE to 85944 to make a one-time $10 donation.   (Standard text rates apply.)