Diocese of Metuchen’s Catholic Charities Solidarity Team awards $57,500 in grants to benefit local food security programs

The Most Rev. Paul G. Bootkoski, Bishop-emeritus of the Diocese of Metuchen and Chaplain of Malta, will celebrate a Mass of the Anointing of the Sick, sponsored by the New Jersey Area Order of Malta, at 11 a.m. June 18 at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, 548 Main St., Metuchen.
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick will be administered during the celebration of this Mass to those baptized Catholics needing to be anointed. In particular, we invite those faithful whose health is seriously impaired by sickness or the challenges of advancing age including those who are bearing the burden of physical, mental or emotional illness or who may be facing surgery.
All are welcome. The cathedral is handicapped accessible. Light refreshments and fellowship will follow in the Cathedral Community Room after Mass. Pre-registration is requested by June 13. For more information or to register, please contact the Cathedral Parish Office at (732) 548-0100 ext. 10 or email kkwiatkowski@stfranciscathedral.org.

October 26, 2016

In this photo (left to right): Msgr. William Benwell, diocesan Vicar General; Lori Albanese, diocesan Chancellor; Bishop Gregory J. Mansour, Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn; and Msgr. Joseph Kerrigan, pastor of Holy Family Parish, New Brunswick, who also serves as director of local chapters of CCST and CRS for the Diocese of Metuchen. (Erin Friedlander/Diocese of Metuchen, photo)

SOMERSET – The Diocese of Metuchen recently awarded $57,500 in local grants to support food security programs in Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren counties. A total of nineteen grants were distributed during the annual “Harvest of Mercy” dinner held Oct. 20 at Saints Peter and Paul Byzantine Catholic Church Hall, Hamilton Street.

These grants were made possible through the 2016 Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Rice Bowl collection, which was taken up in local Catholic parishes, schools and other institutions during Lent. Twenty-five percent of the monies raised through this annual collection benefit local food security programs in the Diocese of Metuchen; the remaining funds support CRS’ international work to help those most in need. Visit http://ccsolidarity.org for information on Rice Bowl grants.

The annual “Harvest” dinner, renamed this year to align with the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy as proclaimed by Pope Francis, is sponsored by the diocese’s Catholic Charities Solidarity Team (CCST). Proceeds from the 2016 fundraiser will benefit CCST’s international work in Lebanon, a new country program announced at the dinner. Bishop Gregory J. Mansour of the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn, who is a member of the Board of Trustees of Catholic Relief Services and Caritas Lebanon USA, delivered the keynote address.

Founded in 2002 as a volunteer program of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Metuchen, the Catholic Charities Solidarity Team (CCST) – in response to our Gospel call to love God, neighbor and creation – works to reduce injustice and suffering facing the poor and vulnerable overseas and locally in the four-county Diocese of Metuchen. Visit http://ccsolidarity.org for information.



2016 Operation Rice Bowl grant recipients

St. Charles Borromeo “Feed Thy Neighbor” program, Skillman
$3,000
The grant will be used to supplement a monthly food collection and a twice yearly “Night of 1,000 lunches program” where the parish gathers to make 1,000 lunches to be delivered to the Loaves and Fishes Ministry, Trenton.

St. Augustine Food Pantry, Kendall Park
$5,000

This pantry feeds 64 people in need of short-term food assistance monthly.

St. James Parish Social Concerns, Woodbridge
$3,000

The largest food pantry in the area, it feeds an average of 165 families each month.

Elijah’s Promise, New Brunswick
$2,000

This organization operates a community soup kitchen as part of a comprehensive program to empower people out of poverty. It serves up to 100,000 meals each year.

St. James the Less Food and Fellowship, Jamesburg
$2,000

The program serves about 120 meals per week on site and delivers to the homebound.

Our Lady of Victories, Sayreville, Society of St. Vincent de Paul
$3,000

Their food pantry aids about 85 families per month in Sayreville.

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen, Phillipsburg
$7,500

In 2016, this CCDOM social service center addressed 11,156 appeals for food assistance, including nearly 4,000 children, and cared for 275 new households. Sixty percent of the population served is at or below the poverty level. They presently aid 451 households or 1,200 clients.

Interfaith Hospitality Network of Somerset County
$4,000

In 2015, the IHN served 48 homeless families and 121 individuals in Somerset, the majority of whom are children, and provided comprehensive services to the homeless.

St. Patrick / St. Rose of Lima, Belvidere
$1,000

The money will be used to provide food and food gift cares to those in need.

Community House of St. Thomas, Old Bridge
$1,500

This group residence, managed by CCDOM, is for physically challenged, vulnerable adults. The funds will be used to supplement the cost of feeding the eight residents.

Queenship of Mary Social Ministry Outreach, Plainsboro
$1,000

Monies will supplement the parish food collection and assist the Ozanam Inn Men’s shelter.

St. Joseph Church, North Plainfield, Society of St. Vincent de Paul
$2,500

Monies will be used to supplement Christmas food baskets for 300 families and support the food pantry, which gives out 80 bags of food per week.

Second Reformed Church, New Brunswick, Five Loaves Food Pantry
$4,000

This is an emergency food pantry serving over 1,000 clients per month.

St. Anthony of Padua, Port Reading

  • $2,500 for Easter celebration meal (500 Easter meals prepared or picked up) 
  • $500 for friendship dinner (175 Christmas dinners and 75-100 takeout baskets)

Somerville Area FISH
$5,500

This is an all-volunteer non-profit which provides daily assistance to those in urgent need of food, clothing or financial assistance. FISH serves and delivers food to 1,600 people per year.

Ebenezer Baptist Church, New Brunswick
$3,000

The 143-year-old congregation, one of the oldest black Baptist churches in the state, serves about 180 meals each Tuesday.

Holy Family Parish, New Brunswick, Community Gardens and food pantry
$3,000

This all-volunteer program provides two bags of non-perishable groceries to 21 families twice per month and supplements that with fresh produce from the gardens.

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Hackettstown
$4,000

The church’s “Caring Kitchen” operates November to May in the cafeteria, providing hot meals and grocery gift cards to those in need.

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