NY, Oct. 29, 2015 - Volunteers, community members, partner organizations, area
parishioners and Catholic Charities' officials were among those who attended
this morning's official opening celebration for the Franklinville Outreach
site, 28 Park Square (Route 16), a pantry established by Catholic Charities of
Buffalo's Department of Parish Outreach and Advocacy. The Franklinville pantry
is the eighth such service operated by Catholic Charities in Erie, Allegany and
now Cattaraugus counties.
The pantry first opened and began serving individuals and families in need during the summer. More than 100 families are already turning to the emergency food resource. The site is open from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, and is closed for lunch from noon to 12:30 p.m.
Eileen Nowak, Parish Outreach and Advocacy Department director, thanked the Franklinville community for their warm welcome and for their support. In particular, she recognized the assistance of Rev. Robert Marino, pastor of St. Philomena Parish in Franklinville, and his parishioners.
"It was Father Robert [Marino] who called me and said there is a need for a pantry in Franklinville, so we looked into it and we agreed that, indeed, there was a need," said Nowak. "We also discovered that Nellie Sweet, who had been serving the community for many years through a pantry located in the Baptist church, was ready to retire. We want to recognize and thank Nellie today for her selfless commitment and dedication to that pantry for 20 years."
Nowak presented a plaque that will hang in the pantry as a reminder of her legacy and contribution to the people of Franklinville.
Ms. Sweet said of the new pantry, "This is very nice and there is lots of room here. It is what I dreamed about. There wasn't a lot of room at the church where our former pantry was, only place for storage so we had to bag the items and bring them out to the people. I hope they are able to help a lot of people.
Sister Mary McCarrick, diocesan director, said, "Jesus said that I am in the midst of you as one who serves. As Catholic Charities, we want to be in the midst of you as those who serve. We are joining our service with the efforts of so many in this community who already give of themselves. Thank you for inviting us to join in your service."
Before offering a blessing, Father Robert Marino, pastor of St. Philomena Church in Franklinville, affirmed how satisfying it is to know the pantry is here now for those in need, and he extended his appreciation to his own parishioners.
"Eileen is correct about my congregation. My parishioners have been extremely helpful and generous in supporting this new effort," said Father Marino. "I am very grateful."
Tish Brady, Catholic Charities chief operating officer, also spoke at the event. Also attending were Matthew Wenke, district director for Family and Community Services in Cattaraugus and Allegany counties, and Maria Picone, Family and Community Services Department director.
Paul Goodhand is coordinator of Franklinville Outreach, which is a member of the Food Bank of Western New York. He said, "This pantry has been a mission that is needed here and it has been well received. I also have a great team of volunteers who really make all the difference."
To reach the Franklinville Outreach, please call (716) 676-3215.
In 2014, Catholic Charities' food pantries impacted 5,669 individuals. More than 2,000 individuals assisted were infants and children under the age of 18. Catholic Charities maintains seven other pantry and outreach centers. Six are located in Erie County, in Central, East and South Buffalo and in Lackawanna and Amherst, and one is in Allegany County in Wellsville.
Each has emergency food pantries and offers information and referrals. Trained volunteers from surrounding parishes and congregations help those in need through the centers. For more information, please call (716) 218-1400 ext. 2004 or 2005.
Catholic Charities also offers counseling and emergency assistance by appointment in Franklinville at 86 S. Main St. The phone number to reach the site is (585) 492-0407.
To learn more about Catholic Charities or any other services it provides, visit www.ccwny.org.
In 2014, Catholic Charities served more than 142,000 people in need in Western New York. For 92 years, Catholic Charities has been making a difference for people of every faith and ethnicity in Western New York. Catholic Charities empowers children, families and seniors to achieve meaningful, healthy and productive lives. In all situations, Catholic Charities delivers support to meet immediate needs, and then assesses clients for other needs to ensure long-term success. It is the most comprehensive human service provider serving Western New York. Catholic Charities is an excellent steward of the contributions it receives. For five years, Catholic Charities attained the highest-possible rating (four stars) from Charity Navigator for transparency and sound fiscal management, and the agency receives the highest ratings from the Council on Accreditation for quality service.
Check out Catholic Charities at ccwny.org, at facebook.com/ccbuffalo, twitter.com/ ccbuffalo and youtube.com/ccbuffalo.
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