God bless the many Cross Catholic Outreach supporters who responded to the cries of the hungry during our “End Their Hunger” campaign!
Hunger has been an especially grave concern since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, as families have struggled to cope with job losses and rising food prices. Thankfully, our Catholic supporters have stepped up in a big way this year to meet this critical need.
Let’s take a brief look at the impact of all this incredible generosity.
Much of the nutritional aid Cross Catholic Outreach distributes to poor communities comes in the form of Vitafood. These shelf-stable meals are shipped easily and efficiently to developing countries around the world. We can pack approximately 272,160 meals in a single shipping container, and each meal is loaded with vitamins the poor desperately need.
During the 2021 fiscal year, which ended June 30, we shipped a total of 20.5 million Vitafood meals, including 356,400 meals for hurricane disaster relief. This was an incredible amount of aid, and all of it was urgently needed by the ministry partners we serve.
More recently, we responded to the Aug. 14 earthquake in Haiti by rushing Vitafood meals to survivors through our network of trusted Haitian ministry partners. Approximately 2.4 million meals will be distributed as part of our comprehensive disaster relief and recovery plan, which also includes medical aid for rural health clinics and a large-scale housing project to repair and rebuild homes.
Related: Discover Cross Catholic Outreach’s food programs around the world.
One example of met needs can be found in the Dominican Republic, where we shipped food and personal protective equipment to a local ministry partner called the New Joy Foundation.
The New Joy Foundation has a vast distribution network that includes over 30 hospitals, churches, orphanages, prison ministries and other organizations. By sending meals to this trusted partner, we were confident that those meals would fill the stomachs of the children and families who needed them most.
Through the support of faithful U.S. Catholics, we were able to send six shipping containers of Vitafood. That is an incredible number of meals, each scientifically formulated to strengthen and improve the health of malnourished children and families!
Our friends at the New Joy Foundation have been very busy distributing these meals to families who have faced economic hardships due to the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic had a significant impact in the area, and local people have faced many challenges. The Vitafood meals are helping them face those challenges and feel that God is near.
Related: Learn about poverty in the Dominican Republic and how you can help.
Berta Rodriguez, a Dominican mother of five children, was blessed by the generosity of Cross Catholic Outreach supporters this year. Berta and her children live in a small, two-room home. Berta is unemployed but occasionally is able to find jobs ironing or cleaning. Her children attend the New Joy Foundation’s community feeding programs, where they are served warm, nutritious Vitafood meals on the weekends.
In addition, Berta receives Vitafood to cook at home. During the pandemic, these meals have been a blessing in a difficult time. Berta is incredibly grateful for the Vitafood you’ve provided. There is so much need in this community, and praise God that those needs are being met with care and compassion!
As Catholics, we believe hunger is a multidimensional need. Families must be nourished in their bodies, minds, hearts and souls.
When you feed a child through Cross Catholic Outreach, you strengthen broader programs aimed at healing, empowering and inspiring the poor. One common example is the many Catholic schools in developing nations that rely on our support to operate critical lunch programs, without which their students would go hungry and be at risk of dropping out.
What a tremendous blessing that our Lord has moved the hearts of so many priests, sisters, lay workers and also Catholics here at home to unite for the cause of lovingly answering the cries of the hungry!
Related: Learn more about how the Catholic Church is addressing world hunger.
Proceeds from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures incurred through June 30, 2024, the close of our ministry’s fiscal year. In the event that more funds are raised than needed to fully fund the project, the excess funds, if any, will be used to meet the most urgent needs of the ministry.