"It is the duty of the human family to help free every single person
from poverty and hunger."
-- Pope Francis
We have all felt the “pinch in our pocket” when we shop for groceries or fill up our car at the gas pump. Imagine if you were forced to choose between buying food, medicine, paying a utility bill, rent or a mortgage? During these difficult economic times, it has been reported that some parents skip meals in order to provide enough food and nourishment for their children.
Would you recognize the face of childhood hunger? Perhaps it’s your child’s classmate who often starts fights or always seems to get into trouble; it may be the girl in middle school who always carries her backpack around because she’s has picked up the night’s dinner and morning breakfast from a pantry; or it may be the high school student who likes to take a walk during lunch break because her lunch bag is empty. Studies have shown that developing children are put at a cognitive, social and behavioral disadvantage.
Long Island has many pockets of poverty and access to nutritious food is not easy. In some communities, food deserts exist. The USDA's Economic Research Service defines a food desert as a low-income tract where a substantial number or substantial share of residents does not have easy access to a supermarket or large grocery store. It may be due to the distance to supermarkets and/or vehicle access to nourishing food.
Our parish outreach ministries along with Catholic Charities food programs provide support to families who are food insecure on Long Island. The Parish Social Ministry department of Catholic Charities provides the training, spiritual and emotional support, resources and sometimes just a voice of comfort at the other end of the phone that those who work at the parish level need to be able to do what they do.
Let us set our family and children up for success this school year. We can take action this September by donating to the Catholic Ministries Appeal. If you are not able to give this year because of the hardships you are facing and you need support, please know that we have resources to help you.
100% of every dollar raised is restricted to fund the objectives, programs, and mission supported by the Catholic Ministries Appeal and every gift makes a difference in the lives of others no matter the amount.