Collaborating once again in a unified effort to tackle hunger, Catholic Charities and UJA-Federation of New York kicked off our second joint Feeding Our Neighbors: An Interfaith Response initiative on Sunday, November 24, 2013, at the YM & YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood. Volunteers assembled 750 Thanksgiving and Hanukkah–themed kosher food packages for distribution to low-income, homebound residents of Washington Heights through a Catholic Charities food pantry and UJA-Federation beneficiary agencies.
This marked the first in a series of specific efforts this season to strengthen the resources for food pantries so they can collect and distribute one million meals throughout New York during winter’s cruelest months.
In the five boroughs, hunger affects approximately 1.4 million individuals. In addition, approximately 2.6 million — or nearly one in three — New Yorkers experience difficulty affording food for themselves and their families. Meanwhile, approximately 1.9 million New Yorkers across all faiths and ethnic communities rely on SNAP, the food stamp program that undergone funding cuts.
Feeding Our Neighbors: An Interfaith Response unites Catholic Charities and UJA-Federation of New York, two of the largest faith-based, not-for-profit organizations to raise awareness about the issue of hunger and food insufficiency in the community. Through the shared values of “No hungry neighbor should be turned away” and “Let all who are hungry come and eat” the Catholic and Jewish communities collectively pledge to make a difference in the lives of those who are hungry and in need. The interfaith initiative stems from Catholic Charities’ Feeding Our Neighbors campaign, an effort to fight hunger by replenishing dwindling supplies in emergency food programs that continue to be stretched thin.
“Catholic Charities is proud to partner with UJA-Federation on this initiative to replenish the food pantries and soup kitchens in our community. Unfortunately, so many families in our community rely on these to survive,” said Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities. “Over the next few months, with the disturbing cuts to SNAP, our joint projects are even more important for New York’s neediest.”
UJA-Federation and Catholic Charities will meet once again in January when Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Msgr. Sullivan and Dr. Ruskay will collect food packages outside of St. Patrick’s Cathedral for distribution to a Catholic Charities food pantry and to a UJA-Federation beneficiary agency.
Help us feed our neighbors.