To help Catholic Charities’ nine food pantries meet the increased need this holiday season, Mollenberg-Betz, Inc., a WNY-based mechanical contractor, and their employees today donated 570 hams at the Russell J. Salvatore Food Pantry & Outreach located at 75 Caldwell Place, Lackawanna.
Mollenberg-Betz gives their 200 employees a ham each Christmas, according to James Camarre, CFO of Mollenberg-Betz. One of the employees, who was grateful to be working during this pandemic year, suggested that the employees might want to donate their hams to help people in need. The company liked the idea so much they assured the employees they would still receive a Christmas ham, but also gave them the chance to buy a ham or more to donate or donate their ham – and Mollenberg Betz would match what the employees gave. The goal was to provide 400 hams to those in need this Christmas.
“In the end, our employees donated or purchased 225 hams, which got us to 450 with our match,” said Camarre. “But knowing some families are smaller, we had some of the larger hams cut in half so we are able to help even more people.”
He added, “I have always known what a great group of people I work with but I was really taken aback at how much it meant to everyone to hit our 400-ham goal. It really lifted spirits in the office to help the community.”
Mollenberg-Betz will supply an additional 175 hams to other outreaches in WNY, bringing their total to 725.
Catholic Charities expects to help more than 3,000 individuals and families this Christmas with holiday dinners and gifts.
Since March and the start of the pandemic, the pantries have provided people in need with thousands of bags of food items, and distributed tens of thousands of food items, and hygiene and paper products throughout the region.
“As the pandemic continues, we continue to serve more neighbors in need, including families and individuals who may never have sought assistance from a food pantry before,” said Eileen Nowak, director of parish outreach and advocacy, Catholic Charities. “Thanks to the generosity of Mollenberg-Betz and their employees, these hams will be provided to as many families as possible to ensure they will enjoy a full Christmas meal this holiday.”
Catholic Charities’ pantries have also distributed tens of thousands of food items, and hygiene and paper products throughout the region. The food pantries are located at: Bishop Edward U. Kmiec Food Pantry & Outreach, 920 Tifft St., Buffalo; Franklinville Outreach, 28 Park Square, Franklinville; Joyce Family Food Pantry & Outreach, 67 E. Pearl St., Wellsville; Kenmore Food Pantry, 3370 Delaware Ave., Kenmore; Lovejoy Food Pantry & Outreach, 139 North Ogden St., Buffalo; Rich St. Food Pantry & Outreach, 930 Genesee St., Buffalo; Russell J. Salvatore Food Pantry & Outreach, 75 Caldwell Place, Lackawanna; Fulton St. - St. Brigid Food Pantry & Outreach, 170 Fulton St., Buffalo; and Town Square Food Pantry, 2710 North Forest Road, Getzville.
Additional information about Catholic Charities’ services can be found at ccwny.org/services.