On mission in the Bronx, archdiocesan Catholic Charities and Goya Foods coordinated a food distribution event Dec 18 at the Bronx Terminal Market on Exterior Street.
Seeking to bring people together by helping those in need, Goya Foods recently donated more than 300,00 pounds of food, or the equivalent of 250,000 meals, to Catholic Charities of New York. That Friday morning at the Terminal Market, part of the donation was given out at a socially distanced “Grab and Go” distribution of grocery bags set up for families to take home.
“Today is so special. It’s special because it is a week before Christmas,” said Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of archdiocesan Catholic Charities. “Christmas symbolizes peace, joy, love and caring. It also symbolizes partnerships and solidarity that humankind should have.
“This year has been, not only a very dark year (because of the Covid-19 pandemic), it’s been a year of division and divisiveness,” he said. “Today, Catholic Charities stands here to say we need to bring people together in solidarity for the good of our neighbors in need.”
Msgr. Sullivan expressed gratitude to Goya Foods for “providing nutritious food for families in need.” He said the families being assisted “are made in the image and likeness of God.”
Citing a range of social services provided by Catholic Charities, Msgr. Sullivan said, “We want to provide hope for a better life for those who today need a helping hand from our neighbors.”
He also thanked representatives of Hispanic Star New York, a nonprofit group that distributed 25,000 Procter & Gamble health and hygiene products.
Offering a Christmas blessing, Msgr. Sullivan said, “May the unity and hope of this great season of Christmas be with all of us—with those who help and those who are helped. Blessed Christmas.”
Rafael Toro, director of public relations for Goya Foods, told those gathered, “We’ve been doing this all year, going all over the country, bringing people together to help people in need, especially because of the pandemic...And we couldn’t do it without the help of organizations like Catholic Charities and Hispanic Star.”
Toro added, “I want to thank Bronx Terminal Market for loaning us their space in order that we can make this donation. On behalf of Goya Foods, I want to wish everybody a glorious Christmas and a happy holiday season.”
Later, in an interview with Catholic New York, Toro said, “Catholic Charities does great work to provide services in the Archdiocese of New York. We can’t think of a better organization to partner with to make sure that people who need support and need help get that help and support...We’re just glad that we can work with Catholic Charities and other organizations to get food to people who need it.”
Goya Foods has a long history of collaboration with Catholic Charities to address food insecurity. In the past five years, Goya has donated more than 1.5 million pounds of food through Catholic Charities to help people in the archdiocese. Toro said Goya Foods is also involved with charitable efforts in the United States and Puerto Rico and other countries, including Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Spain.