Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens’ food pantries have been dealing with a 200 percent increase in food requests as families continue to deal with the fear of the virus, unemployment and poverty.
Since March 24, the agency has teamed up with local parishes in the Diocese of Brooklyn providing over 300,000 meals to families in impoverished immigrant communities through its food pantry network, emergency pop-up food distributions, and home delivered meal programs.
“Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens has served on the front lines of emergency response for years, from 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy to this most recent COVID-19 crisis, so we were able to quickly turn our attention to emergency crisis care,” said Monsignor Alfred LoPinto, president and CEO, Catholic Charities.
On June 26, Catholic Charities hosted its final food distribution event at Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church located at 35-34 104 St. in Corona.
The agency distributed a total of nearly 22,000 meals and 6,000 bags of food that contained dry staple goods such as pasta, dry beans, crackers, farina, fresh chicken, bags of potatoes, carrots, apples, onions, celery, cucumbers, and much more.
Families also received information on access to supportive services via the agency’s call center and behavioral health services via telehealth, coping with stress flyers, and outreach material encouraging participants to fill out the 2020 NYC Census.
To express their gratitude, the agency honored essential volunteers for their sacrifice over the last three months to help the agency feed individuals and families impacted by the pandemic.
“I can’t thank the Catholic Charities employees enough for the work they are doing during this crisis,” said LoPinto. “They have distributed thousands of meals, provided counseling by phone to countless neighbors suffering from anxiety and depression, and extended a helping hand through our call centers to so many who are dealing with the loss of jobs at this difficult time. “Our teachers in our early childhood centers are teaching remotely and providing daily activities for children and their families, and our senior services staff are calling our older adults every day to make sure they are ok. Our staff is committed to doing everything possible during this global pandemic to assist our neighbors in need.”
Looking ahead, the agency will focus their efforts on providing much-needed food packages and services at the 20 Catholic Charities parish-based food pantries located throughout Brooklyn and Queens.
Families will be able to find a Catholic Charities pantry in their own neighborhood without having to wait for an organized pop-up. At the food pantries, families will be able to access Catholic Charities wide array of services, such as case management, and mental health services.
To help, donate to Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, click here.
For Catholic Charities Food Pantry locations and hours, see below: