Catholic Charities & The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Partner to Fulfill Corporate Works of Mercy
Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr, of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Meets with Elder Kevin Birch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
CINCINNATI – July 2, 2020 – Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio and The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints have teamed up to deliver 40,000 pounds of food to those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. The dry goods have been distributed through Catholic Charities’ Food for All, Refugee Resettlement, Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion programs.
Elder Kevin Birch, regional ecclesiastical leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr met at Cincinnati Archdiocese offices to discuss various ways in which the two churches can partner to serve the region.
“In the midst of our struggles, we look to Christ and follow Him by loving and serving others. Throughout the pandemic, Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio has continued to make Christ present to those in need. We are deeply grateful to the local members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for their generous support and cooperation in this ministry. In our service to others, we not only provide for their material needs, but also help them to experience the merciful love of God, which is the deepest need of every human heart,” said Archbishop Schnurr.
“When Jesus Christ was upon the earth during His mortal ministry, He taught the first and second great commandments,” Elder Birch says, “Jesus said, ‘….Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’ To some of His closest disciples, He encouraged them by saying, ‘A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.’ We are grateful and delighted to serve alongside Archbishop Schnurr and Catholic Charities to help lift individuals and families that live in our communities.”
To date, 1,596 families / 3,717 individuals / 242 new families received assistance from the donation Catholic Charities received from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Food for All program, which used to be a walk-thru food pantry, is now a drive-thru. “Food pantry use has only gone up,” April Hoak, Food for All Coordinator, shared. “We expect these numbers to grow as more people lose their jobs. I invite you to donate your time and money… to serve our neighbors in need. Volunteers are putting food in people’s cars that are coming through, and we just need to stand in solidarity together. We need to be that expression of God’s love and mercy. So thank you for all that you do to make our work possible.”
Catholic Charities’ Refugee Resettlement, Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion programs teamed up to deliver care packages of food to refugee and elderly neighbors, many of whom volunteer as senior companions or foster grandparents. Food was sorted and packed by the Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion staff and delivered by volunteers to clients around Cincinnati while observing physical distancing. Aaron Glauberman, Director of Foster Grandparents and Senior Companions, shared, “Our seniors have told us how wonderful it is to receive fresh produce when they are afraid to go to the store during this pandemic.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has donated nearly 150,000 pounds of food to local food banks and Shelterhouse Cincinnati during the COVID-19 pandemic. The donated food is produced using funds, time and other resources donated by church members in an effort to assist those in need. “We have been producing more than is needed for multiple years so there would be sufficient resources to assist others during just such a time,” says President Wesley Foister, stake president of the Cincinnati North Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Catholic Charities would like to thank The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints for allowing us to fulfill our works of mercy in the Greater Cincinnati Community.
About Catholic Charities
Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio is a United Way Agency Partner that serves the poor, protects the vulnerable and welcomes the stranger locally regardless of their religious background or country of origin. Our mission is enabled by the generosity of donors and volunteers. Together, we serve and bring hope to more than 10,000 people each year. Visit www.ccswoh.org to learn more.