Immigrants And Refugees

Catholic Charities Community Services of Rockland Marks Blessing of the Soil

A beautiful day in Rockland County. Credit: Catholic Charities New York

Catholic Charities Rockland (CCCSR) held its annual Blessing of the Soil at its Haverstraw offices.

The event, with the theme “From Seed to Supper,” celebrated the agency’s organic garden, which produces fresh vegetables for Catholic Charities’ clients. Catholic Charities Rockland has hosted the annual springtime event since 2011.

CCCSR’s garden was featured in a Dec. 7, 2022 story as part of the New York Times Neediest Cases series. The article focused on staffer Peter Moore, who cultivates a 70-by-50-foot garden that grows produce like zucchini, eggplant, and green pepper. Its yield of 700 to 800 pounds of fresh vegetables per season supplements what the pantry offers.

Peter said that families who use the pantry often “get fresher produce than you would get in Whole Foods.” The pantry serves 500 families a month, up from fewer than 200 six years ago. The garden, he said, is a way to supplement the basic foods the pantry provides to needy families. The garden is featured in our 2023 Gala video.