FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 23, 2021
Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens Distributes 9,600 Meals to Families and Homebound Seniors Still Experiencing Food Insecurity as a Result of COVID-19
Brooklyn, NY – Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens distributed 9,600 meals to 800 families and 200 homebound seniors still experiencing food insecurity at an emergency pop-up food pantry in Brooklyn at Blessed Sacrament Church on Thursday, April 22, 2021.
Each month, Catholic Charities serves approximately 65,000 families, seniors, and individuals through the food pantry network. In total, the agency distributed over $3.4 million in food assistance since the start of the pandemic.
On Thursday, April 22, each family and homebound senior received 12 meals which included pre-packed bags of fresh produce, dairy, meat, and non-perishable food items. Since the beginning of 2021, Catholic Charities has distributed 19,200 meals to individuals and families at emergency pop-up food pantries alone.
Those in attendance had access to free COVID-19 testing and masks, information, and resources on SNAP screening, Project Hope, and Empire BlueCross BlueShield.
Also, and in collaboration with Blessed Sacrament Parish, Catholic Charities provided a safe-sit-down lunch for our volunteers at the event in the Church rectory in honor of our volunteers. Over 500 New Yorkers have volunteered at our food pop-ups since the pandemic began, including many members from local companies and organizations, such as the New York City and Vicinity District Council of Carpenters, BRS Moving and Storage, The Knights of Columbus and EJ Electric.
“Volunteers provide much valuable help and assistance during this time of great need. With thousands in our communities affected by COVID-19, manpower, and assistance from the District Council of Carpenters, EJ Electric, BRS Moving, and the Knights of Columbus has been indispensable,” said Debbie Hampson, Senior Director of Community Events at Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens. “Volunteers help lift the heavy boxes of produce, drive the forklifts, pack the thousands of bags–tasks our staff could not do alone. Volunteers are the heart of our team; we cannot meet the task of feeding thousands throughout Brooklyn and Queens without their support.”
Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on ways to slow the spread, recipients wore masks and maintained social distancing requirements. Also, individuals registered for the event with Catholic Charities using a generated QR code and brought a shopping cart for the food distribution.
In 2020, soon after lock-down, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens provided over 100,000 meals to 45,000 individuals in 5 weeks. Food distributions are made possible by countless volunteers who serve their communities in Brooklyn and Queens.
“The pandemic has been challenging for so many families across New York. That’s why giving back to our local communities is a top priority for union carpenters,” stated Executive Secretary-Treasurer Joseph Geiger at New York City and Vicinity District Council of Carpenters. “We’re proud of our members who volunteer for the neighborhoods in which they live and work! Our ongoing partnership with Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens allows us to make each of these events a success.”
The Emergency Pop-Up Food Pantry is organized and funded by Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens as a direct response to our neighbors dealing with the effects of the ongoing health crisis. To help, donate to Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens at www.ccbq.org.
Brooklyn Downtown Star
Since the pandemic began, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens has witnessed a 1000 percent increase in food requests and has provided much-needed food packages and services at 49 food pantries and numerous Emergency Pop-Up Food Distribution events. In addition, Catholic Charities witnessed a 37 percent increase in clients in 2020, and continued to deliver mental health counseling, housing services, family services and early childhood education.