Catholic Charities Boston Distributes 4,200 Bags to Families in Need this Thanksgiving
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This weekend, Catholic Charities Boston helped to provide 4,200 families in need with a Thanksgiving meal, partnering with United Way’s annual Thanksgiving project, which distributed a total of 20,000 meals. On Friday November 18, employees from across the agency, donors, and volunteers from all over the Greater Boston area gathered at the Yawkey Center to stock Catholic Charities’ bags with fresh produce, shelf-stable Thanksgiving fixings, and turkeys or gift cards.
Upon registering for a ticket, families could pick their meal bags up on Saturday morning at several of Catholic Charities’ distribution sites, including the Somerville Food Pantry, Catholic Charities Merrimack Valley in Lowell, the Labouré Center in South Boston, and the Blackstone Community Center in Boston’s South End. On Monday November 21 registered clients in the Brockton area could pick their meal up from Catholic Charities South in Brockton.
Joining the dozens of volunteers and employees who gathered on Saturday at the Yawkey Center was Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox. Meanwhile, on Monday, Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan helped hand out meals at Catholic Charities South.
With 1 in 3 Massachusetts families struggling to put food on the table, Catholic Charities’ food pantries have been busier than ever; Beth Chambers, Vice President of the Basic Needs Department, said that both the Yawkey Center and the agency’s new Lynn Food Pantry have been seeing an average of 200 people per day.
“We have never seen the shelves this bare,” she said. “We are just taking it day by day.”
This increased need only heightened Catholic Charities’ motivation to make a tangible difference this weekend; at all five sites, volunteers could be seen greeting clients, helping transfer bags, and working together to ensure the long assembly line of people picking their meal bags up moved efficiently and effectively.
Despite the frigid temperatures this weekend, a spirit of compassion filled the air and warmed the hearts of clients and volunteers alike.
“Catholic Charities is committed to make sure struggling individuals, families, and children have access to healthy food in a timely and compassionate manner,” said Catholic Charities CEO and President Kevin MacKenzie.