A pop-up food pantry was held Aug. 26 at St. Helena parish in the Bronx, hosted by archdiocesan Catholic Charities. Staff and volunteers distributed dry foods, dairy and produce to 200 local families in need.
The event on Olmstead Avenue was the latest in a series of such pop-up food pantries hosted by Catholic Charities to support New Yorkers experiencing food insecurity—a persistent citywide challenge that has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the rising costs of living. The two-hour gathering ended at noon.
Since the start of the pandemic, Catholic Charities of New York has distributed nearly 11 million meals to individuals and families in need, with the help of donors and partners, organizers said.
“Statistics are telling us that there are more and more people who are having financial difficulties; every dollar is being stretched,” Father David Powers, Sch.P., pastor of St. Helena’s, told Catholic New York.
“These pop-up food pantries help families to be able to stretch their dollars a little bit more. It provides them that little extra relief.”
Father Powers said this was the second Catholic Charities pop-up food pantry held at St. Helena since the pandemic shutdowns started in March 2020. The first one at the parish was held last fall.
“We have a (parish) food pantry here once a week, every Wednesday at noon,” the pastor noted. “And we feed increasing numbers of people who are coming to our food pantry; and that definitely is an indicator of the increase in need.”
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