Just 12 days before the Pope’s arrival in Philadelphia, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Camden held one of its most dynamic events yet as part of 40 Days of Francis: a Diocese-Wide Food Relay in honor of the Pope.
On Monday, September 14, a donation of $1500-worth of food made by Charles D. Grimley, III, President and CEO of Grimley Financial Corporation, was distributed in a single day among the six food pantries operated by Catholic Charities in each of the six South Jersey counties it serves. To do so, they enlisted the help of the six Diocesan Catholic high schools.
“During 40 Days of Francis, we’ve tried to help our parishioners and communities prepare for the visit of Pope Francis by learning more about the poverty in our region,” said Kevin Hickey, executive director of Catholic Charites. “With this relay, we wanted to get our Diocesan high school students involved. What better way to prepare for the visit of the Holy Father than a day in service to those in our Diocese who are hungry?”
The journey began at 8 a.m. with a kickoff ceremony at the agency’s office in Camden. Bishop Dennis Sullivan of the Catholic Diocese of Camden offered the opening prayer. High school students and Catholic Charities staff then loaded the truck with food and send it to the first of its six stops. At each stop, the truck was greeted by students from a different high school, who unloaded the food and helped stock the food pantry’s shelves. Before sending the truck to its next stop, students attached a piece of school pride, making the truck a festive “baton” representing all of the schools that helped along its journey.
The food will help assist the more than 5,000 people who receive food services through Catholic Charities each year.
“We see charity as an essential responsibility in the corporate world. For 30 years, service has been an important part of our corporate identity, and Pope Francis’ message reinforces our commitment to supporting those struggling in our community,” said Charles Grimley of Grimley Financial Corporation. “We hope to encourage other corporations to embrace the same spirit of giving, as the requisite need has never been greater.”
More information about all of Catholic Charities 40 Days of Francis initiatives is available at CatholicCharitiesCamden.org/40Days.
Diocese-Wide Food Relay Schedule:
8:00 a.m. – Kickoff ceremony at Catholic Charities’ Camden Office (1845 Haddon Avenue Camden, NJ 08103)
9:30 a.m. – Arrive at first stop: Westville food pantry (1200 North Delsea Drive, Suite 1, Westville, NJ 08093) – Gloucester Catholic High School
10:30 a.m. – Second stop: Penns Grove food pantry (114 State Street, Penns Grove, NJ 08069) – Camden Catholic High School
11:00 a.m. – Third stop: Salem food pantry (25 Oak Street, Salem, NJ 08079) – Paul VI Catholic High School
12:15 p.m. – Fourth stop: Vineland food pantry (810 Montrose Street, Vineland, NJ 08360) – St. Joseph High School
2:00 p.m. – Fifth stop: Rio Grande food pantry (Village Shoppes, 1304 Rt. 47 South, Unit C1, Rio Grande, NJ 08242) – Wildwood Catholic High School
3:30 p.m. – Final stop: Atlantic City food pantry (9 North Georgia Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 0840)1 – Holy Spirit High School
About Catholic Charities, Diocese of Camden
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Camden is a faith-based agency rooted in the Gospel and in the social teaching of the Catholic Church. We provide social services to, advocate for, and empower the poor, oppressed or vulnerable. We do this on a non-discriminatory, non-sectarian basis throughout the six southern New Jersey counties.
Annually, Catholic Charities serves approximately 30,000 individuals through a range of programs and services in Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties. For more information, visit CatholicCharitiesCamden.org.