Got Milk? New Program Delivers Milk to Pantries Although milk is one of the most sought after nutrient-rich items, it's one of the least available at most food pantries. In fact, it's rarely donated due to strict regulations and a short shelf life. Fortunately, that's changing at a few of Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas' food pantries, thanks to the Milk2MyPlate pilot program.
Milk2MyPlate is the first of its kind, bringing the dairy industry together around the issue of hunger. "The program was created in partnership with Feeding America, National Dairy Council and MilkPEP to elevate the awareness of the need for milk after learning that struggling families typically receive less than one gallon of milk per person a year," explains Marley Sugar, RD, LD, Health & Wellness Program Manager, Midwest Dairy Council. "That falls way short of the recommended three servings of milk every day." Last fall, Harvesters became one of only five food banks across the U.S. to implement the pilot program with its partner agencies, including Catholic Charities. Each week, Hiland Dairy delivers a supply of fresh 2% low-fat milk directly to the food pantry for a consistent, affordable price. Christy Mauro, who has been volunteering at the Overland Park food pantry for the last five years, says that it's been an exciting change to be able to offer milk to families. "The families that we serve are so appreciative," she says. Offering milk has opened up conversation about healthy eating and nutrition among those utilizing food pantries. "In that sense, it goes beyond 'emergency feeding' to a fuller conversation about long-term wellness," says Jessica Kejr, Director of Program Services, Harvesters-The Community Food Network. Catholic Charities, which currently has the Milk2MyPlate program implemented at its Overland Park, Olathe and Kansas City, Kansas locations, distributes a total of 208 half-gallons of milk each week. "It's important that those who shop in our pantries have access to healthy choices. Milk is nourishing not only for children, but it also helps meet the nutritional needs of the seniors who we serve, " says Dustin Hardison, Director of Stabilization and Housing, Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas, adding that there are plans to expand the program to Lawrence and Topeka.
Tracy (Fuller) Forbush Receives Prestigious 'Making Democracy Work' Award Hope Hero Shout Out! Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas' Citizenship Program Manager, Tracy (Fuller) Forbush, was this year's recipient of the 10th Annual Making Democracy Work Award. Presented by the League of Women Voters of Johnson County (LWVJoCo), the award celebrates outstanding leaders who help make local government strong, vibrant, fair and responsive to the needs of all members of the community. Two years ago, Tracy began developing and implementing Catholic Charities' Citizenship Preparation Program for immigrants and refugees. Since then, she has helped over 100 of her students successfully pass the naturalization test and obtain U.S. citizenship. Wanting to take it a step further, she reached out to the LWVJoCo and asked them to provide seminars for these new citizens focused on the voting process and importance of voting. The partnership between the two organizations has helped strengthen the program's ability to encourage graduates to become informed and involved citizens. The partnership between the two organizations has helped strengthen the program's ability to encourage graduates to become informed and involved citizens. "I think we can all agree that our democracy is only as powerful as the people behind it," says Tracy. "The more engaged, educated and empowered new citizens are, the better off we all are." Tracy added that she was surprised to have been nominated and humbled to have received the award. She says, "I'm thankful that the League of Women Voters of Johnson County recognizes the value of immigrants and refugees - empowering them and making their voices heard is what truly makes our democracy work." For more information on how you can volunteer for this or other programs at Catholic Charities, visit: catholiccharitiesks.org/volunteer
Having Fun Raising Funds! Ben Zarda has a new phrase to describe the golf tournament he started more than three decades ago: Fun and Funds Now in its 36th year, the Ben and Betty Zarda Family Golf Classic continues to raise significant funds for Catholic Charities while giving golfers and volunteers alike a day of fun! The May 15th event raised more than$150,000 to support the Summer Food program. 136 golfers spent the day on the course while more than 35 guests enjoyed an afternoon wine cruise on beautiful Lake Quivira. Golf Classic Founders, Ben and Betty Zarda with Catholic Charities CEO and President, Ken Williams.
Mark your calendars and join us for next year's Golf Classic on Monday, May 14, 2018.
St. Agnes Rams Reaching Out Day has Widespread Community Effect It's an assignment that doesn't come from a textbook. It doesn't require homework, yet so many students can't help but take it home and out into the community. For the third straight year, the over 300 students at St. Agnes Catholic School dedicated a day of service to benefit the many ministries of Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas. While the preschoolers and kindergartners donated bags of pasta and coffee, the elementary students were busy packing lunches for the Summer Food Program, assembling personal care kits for Shalom House, and writing comforting messages for Hospice patients and volunteers. Meanwhile, the middle-schoolers were hard at work collecting and sorting food, clothing, and household items to be donated to programs such as the Emergency Assistance Centers, Refugees, TurnStyles and the Mobile Resource Bus. St Agnes staff, clergy, parents and students-preschool through 8th-contributed their time, talent and treasure, proving there is no limit when it comes to helping others.
St. Agnes preschooler, Henry, presents Archbishop Naumann with over $100 he earned from his lemonade stand.
Lawrence Coalition Recognizes Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas The Lawrence Coalition for Peace and Justice identifies one organization annually whose work best exemplifies peace and justice within the community. This year, Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas is the proud recipient of the Tom and Anne Moore Peace and Justice Award. "Catholic Charities with its experienced staff and leadership has become the premier, frontline emergency assistance agency in the area and the main convener of collaboration efforts with other agencies," writes a representative from the Coalition. "It is leading the way in our community's effort to provide help where it is needed to people experiencing a crisis." Members of the Coalition also applauded Catholic Charities for its collaboration with other area agencies, stating "Catholic Charities is to be commended for taking the leadership in this simple, but clearly necessary event, which has been helpful to a core of Lawrence and Douglas County agencies."
ARE YOU A CORPORATION LOOKING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE? Corporate Sponsorship Opportunity Last year, Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas provided food assistance nearly 250,000 times to individuals and families in our 21 county service area. Sadly, 40% of all people served are children under 17 years old. During the summer months, the demand for our food pantries increases, yet financial contributions and food drives tends to decrease. Struggling families who rely on school food programs for their children turn to Catholic Charities when they have no other option. Just here in our local community, 75% of children in Wyandotte County and 25% of children in Johnson County who attend public schools depend on free and reduced price lunches during the school year. This year, we will distribute more than $12 million in donated food across our 9 food pantries, 2 mobile resource buses and 25+ kids summer food sites. As a result, we are trying to expand our financial sponsors and strategic food drives and rely less on purchasing food for our pantries. For more information on how you can help, contact: Kelly Kearney,Vice President of Development, at 913.433.2030 - or - [email protected]
Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas
9720 West 87th Street | Overland Park, KS 66212 | 913.433.2100 | catholiccharitiesks.org