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 .