News Articles

Catholic Charities Serves Hope and Turkey for Thanksgiving

by Catherine Kirch

In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, Catholic Charities of New York gave away hundreds of complete Thanksgiving meals at the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Memorial Center in Harlem.

During this annual event, Catholic Charities assembled and distributed fixings for Thanksgiving dinner—including turkey, potatoes, yams, onions, apples and more—for those who would otherwise go without. This year, Catholic Charities distributed over 21,000 pounds of food to over 400 people.

The Tradition of Giving

For philanthropist Mark D’Urso, giving back to his community is a Thanksgiving tradition. Longtime supporters of Catholic Charities, the D’Urso family has donated all of the turkeys, as well as potatoes and other vegetables, for the annual Thanksgiving giveaway for the past 20 years.

“It’s the smiles and the appreciation you get when they come up to you and they thank you,” says D’Urso, who distributes food in person at this event every year. “It’s a good feeling. You feel it inside.” D’Urso has also donated hams and chickens for Catholic Charities Christmas dinner giveaways.

More than a Meal

An estimated 12.8 percent of New York City residents face food insecurity every year. This adds up to over a million New Yorkers, including 18 percent of children, who are at risk of going hungry. These are the individuals and families that Catholic Charities hopes to reach in distributing food for Thanksgiving.

“This is not just a meal,” says Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities New York. “One of our commitments at Catholic Charities is also to inspire some hope.”

Catholic Charities continues to serve both food and hope throughout the year. Soup kitchens, as well as many homeless shelters, provide hot meals for New Yorkers in need every day. Food pantries, like the one at the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Memorial Center, offer food to individuals and families who cannot afford to shop for groceries.

Catholic Charities also works to help connect people to food assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly called food stamps.

For more information about how Catholic Charities helps feed our neighbors, please visit the CCNY website.

Filed under