Catholic Charities partners with Goya Foods to distribute free meals to Bronx families on Holy Thursday

Catholic Charities partners with Goya Foods to distribute free meals to Bronx families on Holy Thursday

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NEW YORK — Catholic Charities is partnering with a major food distributor to feed the hungry on Holy Thursday in the Bronx.

CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge spoke with families who said they’re now able to enjoy an Easter meal.

Cardinal Dolan offered blessings to people in need and handed out food at St. Jerome’s Hands Community Center.

“Easter meal, have your family that can come over. We’ve lost so much, so now it’s a time to rejoice as much as we can,” said Bronx resident Gale Lee.

Catholic Charities joined with Goya Foods to hand out 350 meals as part of the day laborers program supporting immigrant families, giving out rice and beans, fresh fruit, chicken, at-home COVID tests and PPE.

“There are a lot of people who are in need of food, who cannot financially provide and then the economy prices have gone up,” one person said.

The event marks Holy Thursday, a religious day leading up to Easter.

“On Holy Thursday evening, Jesus washed the feet of the disciples and said, ‘I’ve given you example,'” said Monsignor Kevin Sullivan. “So what Catholic Charities does on Holy Thursday is to make sure that we follow the example of Jesus, and we reach out and we feed people who are hungry.”

“It almost seems like we’ve been locked in a Good Friday moment. We’ve been locked in that darkness and violence and death, right? But that’s why we need this, because we know that Good Friday always leads to Easter,” Cardinal Dolan said.

Catholic Charities has handed out a record 11 million meal, including 2 million from Goya, since the beginning of the COVID pandemic.

It’s part of Goya’s annual program of giving to those in need locally and around the world.

“We’ve donated 1.8 million pounds of food. But we’ve also, in the Ukraine, have donated over 400,000 pounds of food,” said Rafael Toro, director of public relations for Goya Foods.

As part of the program, Bronx families can also sign up for English, writing, computer and citizenship courses at Hands Community Center.

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