Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Food Drives

A couple of recent newspaper articles caught my attention.

One was in the Diocese of Norwich's monthly paper, Four County Catholic and the other was in the Norwich Bulletin.

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development unveiled a new initiative, the Poverty USA campaign, to promote a better understanding of poverty in America. 
According to the U S bishops' conference 15% of Americans and nearly 25% of children live in poverty.
Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, who leads the new effort, notes the widespread scourge of poverty in America and the importance of finding solidarity with those who struggle in any capacity.

"We march with immigrant families toward a society made stronger and safer by their inclusion," he said.  "We embrace the mother and her unborn child, giving both of them hope and opportunity."  "We measure our own health by the quality of care we give to those most vulnerable.  We labor with those whose work is burdensome."

At the same time an article appeared in the Bulletin about a severe food shortage at the St Vincent de Paul food pantry in Norwich.

I contacted Dan Durant, community outreach organizer for AFT CT, asking if we could help.
We have already done a food drive with the United Way and a blood pressure screening at St Mary's in New London and Dan coordinates these for us.
I was not the only one who noticed, as evident by the following that also appeared in the Bulletin.

Many thanks to the kind and generous people of Norwich and the greater Norwich area. After an article describing the shortages of food at St. Vincent de Paul Place appeared in The Bulletin, you repeated the miracle of the loaves and fishes. Food has been coming in — and just in time. Thank you.
The article did not mention a most valued partner agency, the Gemma Moran Food Center run by United Way of Southeastern Connecticut, the backbone of the fight against hunger in our region. They are the largest single source of food for St. Vincent's. Each week, we get close to 3,000 pounds of food from the center in New London — that's two pickup trucks filled to overflowing. Not recognizing their help was like not acknowledging our right-hand man. Thank you again and God bless.
Chairman of the Board of Directors, Harold Lindner Food Pantry coordinator, St. Vincent de Paul Place.

As Bishop Soto said, "We measure our own health by the quality of care we give to those most vulnerable. We labor with those whose work is burdensome."

We have a fundamental responsibility to help our fellow man, as health care workers we have an even greater responsibility.

We cannot cure all the ills of society, but we can do our part.

The 4 AFT locals at L+M and Backus will hold food drives with the United Way to help out.
January 28,    Groton Stop and Shop,     9-2         (the 3 L+M locals)
February 4,    Norwich Stop and Shop     9-2        (Backus Federation of Nurses)

If you can help out for an hour or so please let us know.  If you can stop by and donate food, please do.

Together we can make a difference.

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