The UJA-Federation of New York teamed up with Catholic Charities this year to distribute food to the needy in time for Thanksgiving and continue the fight against hunger.
The religious charities have partnered to help New York soup kitchens and food pantries in this time of higher demand partly due to the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
“We need, all of us, need to do everything we can for the people devastated by the hurricane,” said executive vice president and CEO of UJA, John Ruskay, according to WCBS 880 news. “And then, however, we have the chronic issue of poverty.”
Ruskay said that despite the religious differences of the organizations involved, there is a common set of principles that need to be followed.
“We stand together on the issue of caring for those most in need, people left out,” Ruskay told the news station.
“In too many parts of the world, religion is looked upon as a force that divides, and not in New York, added archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan. “We wanted to be a force that unites and that reconciles and that lifts people up.”
“Thanksgiving is America at its best and this day is New York at its best,” Dolan told WCBS 880. “Even though overwhelmingly good news about the compassionate response over Hurricane Sandy, has that ever been inspirational, what we’re worried about – there’s always compassion fatigue.”
On Monday, the Food Bank for New York City released a report that found the number of food pantries and soup kitchens is down 25 percent compared with five years ago.