Offering sustenance and dignity to families in need during COVID-19

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Paterson is located throughout three counties in northern New Jersey—Morris, Passaic, and Sussex. Funds granted by the Catholic Climate Project were used food pantries located in Paterson, Dover and Franklin.

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Paterson recently worked with Catholic Climate Covenant and the Catholic Climate Projects to obtain grant funds to purchase shopping carts for our food pantries. Our three pantries are serving more people than ever before in our 80-year history due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During a typical month pre-COVID, the pantries supplied food to between 5,000 to 7,000 individuals. Since March, however, we have seen that number grow to almost 25,000.

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We would like to reduce our dependence on non-sustainable materials, especially in light of the new demand, and earlier this year Catholic Charities requested help to purchase 1,000 reusable bags that we already distributed to our shoppers during their visits. We are asking shoppers to recycle the bags by returning them to the pantry. We are proud of our partnership and excited to see the reusable bags not only given out but also returned, so that in this moment of increased need we do not contribute more waste to our community.

With this second award, we are purchasing 23 new shopping carts. The carts currently in use were found rusty and abandoned in front of our center.  With new carts we wish to promote the dignity of our shoppers.Each day Catholic Charities exhibits each of the seven themes of Catholic Social Teaching in all that we do. This project specifically symbolizes Life and Dignity for the Human Person, Option for the Poor and Vulnerable, and Care for God’s Creation.

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