August 20, 2010

Area soup kitchens and food pantries get needed boost during busy summer months

SAGINAW —As part of the Knights of Columbus “Food for Families” program across the United States and Canada, $1 million is being donated to help feed the hungry. Soup kitchens and food pantries across Michigan are the recipients of $68, 000 and some of that money is already benefiting the local community.

On Thursday, Bishop Joseph R. Cistone accepted a $4,063 check on behalf of the Diocese of Saginaw. The check was presented to Bishop Cistone by the Knights of Columbus at the East Side Soup Kitchen in Saginaw. Bishop Cistone, in turn, shared that money with soup kitchens and food pantries across the 11 county diocese.

Donations were distributed to the following organizations:
Representatives from the above organizations were on hand Thursday for the check presentation and at that time also received individual checks for their organizations. The East Side Soup Kitchen’s Director, Pam Cole, said the money could not have come at a better time.

“Many children, who receive breakfast and lunch during the school year, lose two meals during the summer months,” Cole said. “Just last Friday we served 512 adults and children.”

According to Cole, more donations come in during the winter months, but summer is actually the busiest time of year. The number of meals served at the East Side Soup Kitchen has gone up each year since 2001 and it is a similar story at soup kitchens and food pantries across the Diocese of Saginaw.

Bishop Cistone took the opportunity while he was at the East Side Soup Kitchen to thank the Knights of Columbus for its generous support and also thanked the employees and volunteers who work to feed the hungry.

While he was at the soup kitchen, Bishop Cistone worked a lunch-shift on the serving line. He greeted and served food to adults, teens and children who were there for a meal.

“It was a very spiritual experience,” Bishop Cistone said. “You look into the eyes of the people who are there — people of all ages and walks of life — and you just know that you are meeting Christ.”

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