Posts Tagged ‘Mobile Food Pantry’

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:

 

 

 


“We got nothing,” He said. “We’ll take anything you can give us.”

Friday, January 4th, 2013

By Jeanne McGettigan, Catholic Charities Director of Emergency Food Services

On New Year’s Eve, Catholic Charities Emergency Food Services Department enlisted our Mobile Food Pantry staff and volunteers to distribute 6,000 meals in Midland Beach, a Staten Island neighborhood devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

Three staff and four volunteers rose early in the morning to pack bags at our delivery location in the Bronx, while another staff member waited for 26 cases of frozen chickens to be unloaded at the distribution site in Midland Beach, St. Margaret Mary Church.  In addition, one staff member stopped by our Staten Island office at Anderson Avenue to pick up 100 children’s books to distribute to children who stopped by. By 11am, the Mobile was parked in the lot of the parish, at 560 Lincoln Avenue.

A steady stream of residents arrived. Some had heard from their pastor, others from fliers given out at the nearby Restoration Center.  One woman said that she had just gotten a small electric oven, and she would cook her first meal in it with some of the items.  Residents who were still not able to cook were glad for ready-to-eat items such as apple cider, tuna, cream cheese, bread, romaine lettuce, and oranges.

Jim Reagan, head of the parish St. Vincent de Paul Society, offered to drive staff around to some of the still-devastated areas to check in and offer help.  It was sad to go block after block and find so many houses empty, their former residents staying elsewhere.  However, when we did find occupants at home, they were very grateful for assistance.

One man invited us into his humble bungalow, stripped down to the studs.

“We’ve got nothing” he said.  “We’ll take anything you can give us.”

Another family of six sent their two teenagers out to carry in armfuls of food.

One resident said, “I’m ok.  Give it to someone who needs it.”  A few minutes later, he was back. “I have a friend I can bring this to.  I’ll take a bag.”

By mid afternoon, over half of the bags had been distributed and the numbers of recipients had slowed.

Staff then contacted Tony Hall, of STAR (Small Town America Recovers) with a restoration hub set up at Midland and Kiswick.  Tony has been running a grass roots effort since the earliest days after the hurricane.  He agreed to take the remaining food and distribute it from his tent.

By the time we arrived to do the drop-off, a line had already gathered.  There was a family there: mother, father and child who had lost everything and were so grateful for the food that they received. They let me know that they had to abandon their home for the time and were living with their father in-law. A home of one suddenly became a house of four and food and money were scarce so they were happy to take some of the ‘burden’ from their father, if only for a few meals. When we checked in with Tony a few days later, he confirmed that all of the remaining food had been distributed on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day to residents of Midland Beach.