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Catholic Charities thanks LDS church for food donation

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Catholic Charities food pantries received an extra helping from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On Sept. 16, to mark their 200th anniversary, the LDS church donated food to 200 locations across New York state. Catholic Charities’ Russell J. Salvatore Food Pantry and Outreach in Lackawanna received 10 pallets of beans and pasta.

“On a nationwide basis, our church and the Catholic Charities program, as well as the Catholic faith, have this incredible relationship,” explained Kristen Dimick, communication director for New York State’s Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. “We work really closely with Catholic Charities across the globe. When I moved here a few years ago, I realized we didn’t have a great relationship with the Church yet, and we hadn’t worked yet with Catholic Charities. I felt that was a huge gap that needed to be filled. We’re all doing the same thing. Although our theology might be a little different, we all believe in the savior of Jesus Christ, we all believe in helping our neighbors and our friends and our communities. It seemed like something we ought to do.” When looking for a pantry, the Orchard Park resident looked at neighboring Lackawanna for the answer.

“We have green beans that were just picked this summer,” Dimick said, estimating a total of 15,000 pounds of mashed potatoes, chili and macaroni that came straight from Salt Lake City being unloaded. “We hope it’s going to be put to good use. I’m sure you guys will. You guys do an awesome job nationwide and we’re just so glad we could contribute.”

“We’re very excited for this generous donation and working with the LDS Church on an ongoing basis to continue to provide with people in need,” said Deacon Steve Schumer, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of Buffalo.

Catholic Charities operates nine food pantries across Western New York and works with Feed More, formerly known as the Food Bank of WNY, to keep the shelves stocked.

“Most of the food comes from the Food Bank, but we’re also trying to supplant that from some other sources,” explained Deacon Schumer. “This is certainly a very large donation from a single source. We also receive donations from individual families who bring in a shopping bag full of things, as well as from local grocery stores and restaurants. We will break this down and distribute it to our various locations all across Western New York and help families who are having trouble putting food on the table, especially at this unprecedented time.”

Anyone who needs food can call a special Catholic Charities COVID hotline at 716-218-1419 or visit http://www.ccwny.org.

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