Posts Tagged ‘food donations’

Hungry New Yorkers Get 5,000 Pounds of Food

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

By Alice Kenny
Marta6.3Yesterday was the moment Martinez Benitez had been praying for.  For nearly two decades, this 94-year-old woman has volunteered at Catholic Charities’ St. Cecelia’s food pantry in Central Harlem.  She has watched as lines crowded with hungry children, mothers, and grandfathers with walkers stretched longer each year.  And yesterday, Goya Foods, the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States, pulled up a truck filled with 5,000 pounds of food donations.

Catholic Charities and Goya staff along with volunteers such as tiny Ms. Benitez rolled up their sleeves on this 80-degree day and unloaded boxes packed with rice, beans and vegetables.  The donations were split between the food pantries at St. Cecelia’s and at Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Service, an affiliate of Catholic Charities.

Goya’s donation marked the kickoff for this weekend’s National Puerto Rican Day Parade and food drive.  The massive gift, enough to feed 4,000 families, will benefit Catholic Charities Feeding Our Neighbors campaign that supports a vast network of food pantries and emergency food programs.  Since the November cuts in the food stamp program (now called S.N.A.P.) hunger is more of a crises than ever in East Harlem where nearly one out of every two children – 37,250 residents in all – live in poverty.

“This will mean that hundreds of families will not go to bed hungry at night,” Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Sullivan said as he hugged Ms. Benitez, then unloaded another box of brown rice.

Telemundo Reports Puerto Rican Parade Plans to Team with Catholic Charities to Feed the Hungry

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

The National Puerto Rican Day Parade to be held on June 8 under the themes of art, culture and education will also provide a chance to collect food to benefit members of this community who have no food in their homes, reports Telemundo Atlantico.

The Office of Puerto Rican Affairs along with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York called for two days of community service by holding food drives through the Archdiocesan-wide Feeding Our Neighbors Campaign.

Non-perishable food donations can be made at two of the events leading up to the parade; on May 31 at the 152 Street Festival, home to the largest Puerto Rican community in New York, and on June 1 at the annual Parade Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

The goal is to raise enough funds to provide one million meals for the hungry.

Food collected will be donated under the direction of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade to food banks working with Catholic Charities.

The organization asked the public to hold food drives in churches, workplaces and schools. In addition, the GOYA Corporation plans to donate 5000 pounds of food.

Want to find out more about the upcoming National Puerto Rican Day Parade?

Read the full story in Spanish in Telemundo.

Learn more about Feeding Our Neighbors, an Archdiocesan-wide drive to replenish food pantries supporting non-Catholics and Catholics alike.

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.

Join Us at Our New Food Pantry and Help Feed the Hungry

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

We’re opening a new food pantry site at St. Margaret Mary Church on Staten Island this Friday, May 10th, and we’re looking for volunteers.

Tasks can include:

1. Setting up a client choice pantry outside on folding tables. This will require moving cases of food weighing 20-50 lbs.  A hand truck will be available.

2. Greeting the clients of the pantry, providing information and maintaining an orderly flow of people.

3. Breaking down the tables and putting the food away.  This will involve some use of stairs and carrying cases of food.

We will  also be looking for volunteers willing to help at this new site through June. More postings will be made for future dates.

Please share with your friends and sign up to help the hungry.

 

Rockland Youth Would Make Mother Teresa Proud

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

 By Alice Kenny

After witnessing tens of thousands of starving children and families, Mother Teresa, a Catholic activist and saint, decided to keep her advice simple to fight these overwhelming odds.

“If you can’t feed a hundred people,” she told followers, “then just feed one.”

Inspired by this advice, St. Catherine’s Parish in Rockland County decided to make feeding the hungry their Lenten Challenge.  Mobilized by the New York Archdiocesan Feeding Our Neighbors campaign to shore up food pantries’ dwindling supplies, the parish asked children that attend the church to donate shopping bags filled with food from February 13 through March 30 during Lent.

Students broke into teams that competed to bring in the most food donations.  All told, the students brought in nearly two tons– 3,799 pounds – of food.

They donated this bounty to the food pantry run by Rockland Catholic Community Services.

“I was thrilled when I saw the amount of food the youth were able to collect,” said Catholic Community Services of Rockland Executive Director Martha Robles.  “I told them – and I’m sure – that ‘Mother Teresa is so proud of you.’”

Catholic Charities Launches Feeding Our Neighbors Campaign to Collect One Million Meals for Those in Need

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Catholic Charities New York Executive Director shakes hands with John Ruskay, Executive Vice President and CEO of UJA-Federation of New York

By Alice Kenny

Responding to already-strained food pantry shelves further depleted by Hurricane Sandy, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan launched the second annual Feeding Our Neighbors  campaign aimed at collecting more than one million meals for those in need.  Cardinal Dolan began this year’s campaign on Sunday, January 27, 2013, during Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities NY concelebrated the mass.

This year, the campaign, which runs through February 3, 2013, represents an interfaith initiative with the UJA-Federation of New York. The Wall Street Journal reported that officials said this was one of the largest interfaith efforts of its kind.

“So often today…we see signs of religion as a cause of hate and division,” Cardinal Dolan told a packed Sunday Mass. “But in New York we are so proud that religion brings people together and that it takes care of God’s most forgotten people.”

Following Mass,  John S. Ruskay, executive vice president and CEO of UJA-Federation of New York, and William E. Rapfogel, executive director and CEO of Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty (Met Council), a UJA-Federation of New York beneficiary agency, joined Cardinal Dolan and Msgr. Sullivan in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral to load food donations onto Catholic Charities’ Mobile Food Pantry and Met Council trucks for delivery to food pantries, soup kitchens and meal programs that serve New Yorkers in need.

After that, Msgr. Sullivan, Mr. Ruskay and Mr. Rapfogel kicked off UJA-Federation’s “Super Sunday” phone-a-thon to solicit additional donations.

During this time of great need, one in five New York State children grow up in poverty and more than one million New Yorkers do not have enough to eat.

This campaign grows out of an awareness and concern that embraces New Yorkers of all religions who must turn to food pantries, soup kitchens and senior center meal programs, to sustain themselves and their families.

Listen to Msgr. Sullivan’s interview with Mr. Ruskay about the Feeding Our Neighbors campaign aired Saturday, January 26 on JustLove, The Catholic Channel 129 Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

Help feed our neighbors: