Posts Tagged ‘Food Pantry’

Nonagenarian Celebrates Birthday Volunteering

Friday, August 1st, 2014

DSCF4004By Alice Kenny

Nonagenarian. What’s that?

And what kind of way is that to celebrate a birthday?

Well, for Virginia Suppies, our nonagenarian — AKA – she just turned 90 — volunteering at the Catholic Charities Ulster County Food Pantry was the perfect way to celebrate her big day.

Similar to Ms. Suppies – and her birthday party choice — the food pantry is special.  Located at 6 Adams St. in Kingston, N.Y. it is a full “Client Choice” food pantry.  Clients comb the aisles as if they were shopping at a mini grocery store, filling their carts with everything from canned goods to fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and poultry.

Volunteering at the food pantry is Ms. Suppies’ way of giving back, she says.  An added bonus is the friends she has made.

On her big day, the entire Ulster County Catholic Charities staff joined to wish her a happy birthday, share her ice cream birthday cake, give her a house plant and cheer as she tried on her newest gift and fashion statement, a Catholic Charities jacket.

“Virginia is one of our many dedicated volunteers that come to give their time and energy to help feed more than 1800 families in need, says Catholic Charities Ulster County Regional Director Tom Kelly. “She does it with care and compassion to everyone.”

Searching for Healthy Soul-Food Recipes for Your Thanksgiving Feast?

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

By Alice Kenny

That’s what forty seniors learned first-hand  – and you can too — thanks to a volunteer partnership held at Catholic Charities Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Memorial Community Center in Harlem last week.

A guest chef from the local nonprofit organization, Harlem Seeds, demonstrated  how to make quick and yummy  Candy Apple Pie and Roasted Yam Medallions along with this personal favorite among the Brooklyn crowd, Kale with Sundried Tomatoes.

Meanwhile, volunteers from the construction management company, Lend Lease, helped the chef prep, cook and serve the food samples, making sure that each senior brought home their own bag of goodies and recipes.

Lend Lease volunteers also helped man the Catholic Charities Kennedy Center food pantry that provides food to hungry families and gave away bags filled with ingredients and recipes.

Keeping with the spirit of giving, nearly thirty  Lend Lease volunteers helped paint a landscape mural to brighten the yard at Incarnation Children’s Center, a Catholic Charities affiliate and New York City’s only skilled nursing facility that provides specialized care for children and adolescents living with HIV/AIDS.  Read more on the  blog below.

Check out these holiday recipes:

Now, as Thanksgiving approaches, how about volunteering your talents?

Click here to view our latest volunteer opportunities and find what inspires you!

Donning Plastic Aprons and Delivering Pasta; Catholic Charities Teams with POTS with Their Recipe for Success.

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Donning plastic aprons and matching gloves, 12 volunteers, all staff from Catholic Charities, served 530 lunches last week to homeless, poor and working-poor Bronx residents in POTS community dining room.

“You get the feeling you’re helping people and find a new appreciation for what you have,” said one of the volunteers, Catholic Charities Accounts Clerk Santa Rivera.

POTS, short for Part of the Solution, provides hot, healthy meals to its “guests” seven days a week in a bright, airy space furnished with small tables that give it the feel of a neighborhood café.   The nonprofit organization serves as a “one-stop shop” that provides a wide array of assistance programs under one roof.  Its  goal and success comes from moving its guests from crises to stability and, ultimately, to self sufficiency.  In addition to the community dining room, POTS offers a food pantry, clothing program, hair cuts, health care, mail service, family club, case management services and a legal clinic.

Serving guests at the table as if it were a restaurant, Catholic Charities volunteers participated in POTS’ model of upholding client dignity.  When guests arrived, the volunteers delivered beverages and brought plates brimming with pasta and vegetables. Behind the scenes, volunteers sorted bread, prepped food and washed dishes with POTS staff. And after guests left, they cleared  tables, swept, mopped and took out the garbage.

Meanwhile, fellow Catholic Charities volunteers stocked the POTS Food Pantry, a grocery-store style pantry that invites those in need to walk its aisles and “shop”  for the produce, dairy, canned and packaged items they need to prepare balanced meals in their own homes.

Catholic Charities staff said their volunteer experience made lasting memories.

“We were able to see how great an impact our small amount of volunteering has on people’s lives,” said Catholic Charities Accounts Payable Coordinator Monica Parra. “And we saw how people were so grateful that we were there to help.”

Looking  for help or want to volunteer at POTS?

Click here to learn more.

North Bronx Social Service Agency is More Than Just

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

By Ben Ros

One Bronx nonprofit, a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Charity, continues to make the news. Here it is, in case you missed it on PBS’s Metrofocus.

Part of the Solution (POTS) opened in 1982 as a standard soup kitchen but has since expanded their scope of services to provide not only food through their restaurant-style community dining room and food pantry, but increasingly, everything the homeless or working poor need. Their services range from case management and legal advice to hot showers, haircuts, clothing, and a mailing address.

The diversity of services offered stems from a holistic philosophy that is central to the community values that POTS fosters. For those starting from zero, some of these basic services make all the difference. The simple chance to sit down in the barber’s chair and tell your story, or be recognized by your postman can inspire the courage and confidence it takes to work through hard times.

POTS’s true value to those it serves is being a safe, judgment-free space to fulfill one’s basic needs while respecting individuals’ dignity. “Personal dignity is really the one quality that I think people need to take each next progressive step in their life,” said Chris Bean, Executive Director of POTS, a sentiment that parallels one of the central doctrines of the catechism.

To learn more about POTS and how you can help, visit potsbronx.org.

Burned Down, Rebuilt and Cherished, New Community Center Both Reality and Miracle

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

By Alice Kenny 

At a grand-opening event marked by laughter, tears and gratitude, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan blessed the Catholic Charities Community Center on Adams Street last Friday, June 28.

“Isn’t this place something,” Cardinal Dolan said. “The word miracle’s been used and I don’t think that’s an exaggeration. When you come in here you feel right at home…There’s a warmth; there’s an embrace…That’s what we like and that’s what people need and deserve.”

The building was bought by Catholic Charities in 2009 and was being renovated with a $2.1 million state grant after a fire on Dec. 21, 2010 wracked considerable damage to the three-story former St. Peter’s School building. The roof collapsed and there was smoke and water damage throughout the 18,000-square-foot structure.

On Friday, after offering his blessing, the cardinal splashed holy water and joked, “This is a fire retardant, too.”

The Catholic Charities center, formally known as the Father Edmund Burke Ulster County Catholic Charities Community Center, is at 6 Adams Street on a property perched above lower Broadway in the Kingston’s Rondout District. Fr. Burke, formerly the priest at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church on lower Broadway, attended Friday’s ceremony.

The center was about a week away from opening when the 2010 fire set back the renovation effort. Following a second round of renovations, the center now is home to the offices for Ulster County Catholic Charities; a food pantry run by the group; the Agri-Business Child Development agency that offers early childhood education and social services to farm workers’ families and other eligible families; and a large gymnasium for Catholic Youth Organization sports programs. The gym hosted Friday’s ceremony.

Rebuilding the center relied on teamwork and hard work. Thomas J. Kelly, Regional Director of Ulster County Catholic Charities, extended special recognition to Johann Huleatt on behalf of the Bruderhof Community and Community Playthings for their gift of equipment and toys for the renovated waiting room and Tom Urtz and Lew Foote on behalf of ShopRite Supermarkets and the Wakefern Group for their donation of wire shelving and refrigeration units used in the center’s new food pantry.

“Who goes to Catholic Charities?” Cardinal Dolan asked a crowd that included Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, New York Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, Kingston Mayor Shane Gallo and a host of others.

“People who have no where else to go,” he answered. “That’s what this is about…You got somebody hungry; You got somebody who needs legal help, … immigration help …a loving, safe, tender place for their kids. You need some place where our people can recreate. They come here because there’s a magnificent diversity of ways that we welcome people as family. We honor their human dignity. We recognize them as a child of God.”

 

Produce the Produce – Earth Day and Every Day

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Tapping in on Earth Day, Catholic Community Services of Rockland (CCSR) announces its new program, “Produce the Produce,” to  provide fresh fruits and vegetables to hungry children, individuals and families in Rockland County.

“Whether from our own garden, grocery store or farmers’ market, most of us have access we take for granted to fresh fruits and vegetables but those who are poor have neither,” says CCSR Executive Director Martha Robles.

“We are committed to changing that in Rockland with a bold, new and fresh initiative,” she adds, “and invite you to be a part of it.”

This proactive effort will put more freshly grown fruits and vegetables on the tables of people in need. CCSR plans to serve as a catalyst to engage other community and parish gardens to participate in “Produce the Produce.” It will also provide a central location where local farmers markets and common citizens can donate the fresh fruits and vegetables they grow.

The idea was “cultivated” from CCSR’s expanded community produce garden in Haverstraw.  This garden, nicknamed the “Garden of Love,” has already produced more than 6,000 lbs. of fresh produce that has been distributed to participants enrolled in the CCSR Food Pantry.  In addition to saving money, the Garden of Love helps feed our neighbors, while teaching members of the community how to grow their own food.

To ensure a plentiful bounty, Produce the Produce was formally announced during the 4th Annual Blessing of the Soil at CCSR, 78 Hudson Ave in Haverstraw, New York on April 20.

During this time of economic uncertainty, demand for the food pantries continues to grow.  Fortunately, the CCSR garden’s bounty is growing as well. Seasonal cooking demonstrations that use fresh ingredients from the bounty harvested from the “Garden of Love” are also available.

At Catholic Community Services of Rockland, no one is ever turned away from receiving food. Please call 845 942-5791 during office hours to register.

Youth Competition Garners 7,000 Meals for Hungry New Yorkers

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

 By Alice Kenny

Thanks to a contest that pitted youth against youth and parish against parish, Catholic Charities in partnership with the Office of Youth Ministry pulled together an additional 7,000 meals for hungry New Yorkers at Catholic Youth Day on April 6 at the College of Mt. St. Vincent in Riverdale.

Holy Rosary Parish of Portchester won first place by bringing in cartons packed with 460 pounds of food.  All told, the contest yielded close to 1300 pounds of food donations.

Holy Rosary’s win entitles them to a day with Fr. Joseph Espaillat, director of youth ministry for the Archdiocese of New York.  He will personally visit their parish or youth group and preach, lead a retreat, celebrate Mass, play kickball, and, if they like, throw a pizza party for parish youth.

Catholic Charities provided staff and support for the Office of Youth Ministry contest to help feed our hungry neighbors. The Youth Day event featured music and performances by different ministries in the Archdiocese of New York including Full Armor Band, Fr. Stan Fortuna, CFR and many more.

The contest was part of the Feeding Our Neighbors campaign to help pantries feed those who would otherwise go hungry.  Feeding Our Neighbors is an interfaith effort to fight hunger by replenishing dwindling supplies in emergency food programs that continue to be stretched thin.

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 them and their families.

The food donations were delivered to St. Peter’s Parish food pantry in Yonkers, NY. Pound for pound and dollar for dollar, the donations represent an additional 1,040 meals for hungry children and families served by this pantry plus collections at masses that raised $1500 to support 6,000 more meals in the Archdiocese of New York.

Join us in feeding our neighbors.

Do your part to make sure no hungry neighbor is turned away.

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:

 

 

 


Healthy Eating on a Budget? Catholic Charities and Credit Suisse Show How

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

It can be difficult to adopt a healthy lifestyle on a budget, particularly when it comes to food. At Catholic Charities’ Washington Heights Food Pantry, visitors learned to do just that.

Fourteen employees of Credit Suisse volunteered at the pantry to host a “Healthy Living” Workshop. In the morning, Jeanne McGettigan of Catholic Charities introduced the volunteers to the significance of making affordable healthy meals accessible.

As visitors to the food pantry arrived, the volunteers demonstrated various affordable ways to keep the kitchen clean, such as using vinegar and baking soda. They also showed safe cooking habits, like using separate cutting boards for each type of food.

Gabriela Alvarez, a Community Chef from Just Food, led the volunteers in cooking a healthy coconut kale recipe for visitors, filling the room with the fragrant scents of coconut, carrots and spices. Just Food is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to make sure healthy and nutritious organic food is accessible to everyone.

After learning easy and safe tips for the kitchen and eating their delicious meal, all visitors received a shopping bag, courtesy of Credit Suisse, filled with supplies for creating their own affordable, healthy meals, including fresh vegetables, chopping boards and an ergonomic salad spinner.

To sign up for opportunities like this one or find other volunteering options, visit our volunteer website.Your time can make all the difference for your neighbors in need this holiday season.

What are some of your favorite tips for preparing healthy, affordable meals?