Cardinal Dolan Shares Easter Food & Blessings with Hungry New Yorkers

Posted on April 3, 2018 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

Many Count Themselves among the Working Poor

Cardinal Dolan distributed food at Catholic Charities expanded St. Cecelia’s food pantry on Holy Thursday.

Clutching bags, carts and strollers, hundreds of hungry folks in East Harlem filled Catholic Charities NY’s newly expanded food pantry at St. Cecelia’s parish hall on Holy Thursday to receive free food for their families and Easter blessings from Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

They are among those left behind by the booming economy not just this Easter season but all year round.  Shockingly, according to City Harvest’s latest count, they make up 42-percent of New Yorkers.  They are men, women and children who, in part due to skyrocketing New York City housing costs, in part because of low wages paid to those stuck on the wrong end of the economic recovery,  still lack income they need to pay for basic necessities like food and housing

“Many of the people we see are the working poor,” says  Jeanne McGettigan, Assistant Director, Feeding Our Neighbors Programs as she handed out bagged chickens, potatoes, onions and more to help them celebrate Easter. “They’re doing everything right and they still don’t have enough to eat.”

The event marked an opportunity for Catholic Charities to announce our gratitude to Goya Foods for recommitting again this year to provide 300,000 pounds of food to those in need, announce the expansion of St. Cecelia’s food pantry, and, most important, serve those who Christ held closest.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan took time bear hugging and greeting those lined up for food to hammer this home. 

“On Holy Thursday, the night before he died, remember what Jesus did,” Cardinal Dolan told the crowd.  “He took time to wash his disciples’ feet.  He said I’m your servant, yes; I’m your Lord but I’m your servant.”

At Catholic Charities NY we are honored to serve more than 6,500,000 meals to hungry New Yorkers each year.  Community and parish-based food programs and pantries like the one at St. Cecelia’s, partner with Catholic Charities to offer families food to bring home.  Others also provide hot meals on site. St. Cecelia’s pantry is expanding to a full “client choice model” that empowers hungry neighbors to choose healthy food their families enjoy. Catholic Charities also pairs volunteers with elderly and disabled people who are homebound and hungry to offer free door-to-door food delivery.

These food programs can make the difference between a family’s Easter celebration and hunger.

“My mother works very hard but we eat little every day,” says Denise Cortez, 14.  “The food pantry helps us a lot.”

Meet some of those we serve here on CBS News

Are you or someone you know hungry?

Check out Catholic Charities NY’s free food pantries, soup kitchens and more


Catholic Charities is responding to the needs of our neighbors during the 
COVID-19 pandemic.

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