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Partner with Catholic Charities to assist needy

Hunger is forever with us. Today's economic turmoil just makes the problem bigger.

In the Archdiocese of Omaha, Catholic Charities' food pantries are seeing a 48 percent increase in requests for assistance. These needy people are turning to the agency's food pantries at the Juan Diego Center in South Omaha and St. Martin De Porres Center in North Omaha.

Nearly 19,000 people of all ages received food assistance from Catholic Charities in 2008. Considering the current economic quandary, that number most certainly will be surpassed this year.

Decreasing hunger is a mission Catholic Charities takes seriously, so the agency will be participating in National Hunger Awareness Month in June. Pastors and their parishioners are being asked to assist the emergency food pantries through the "Hunger Doesn't Take a Vacation" campaign. Forty-three parishes participated in last year's campaign, raising more than $70,000.

Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss has asked pastors to save the weekend of June 20-21 for the "Hunger Doesn't Take a Vacation" campaign. As the archbishop says, "This year every dollar truly will make a difference."

A number of parishes and individuals partner with Catholic Charities to fight hunger throughout the year by organizing food drives, donating food and cash, and praying for the needy. You can join their ranks by taking the time to get involved.

Not only does Catholic Charities fight hunger, it is a leader in combating substance abuse, domestic violence and mental illness.

Recent news reports highlighted the agency's effort to raise at least $700,000 to refurbish the former Rod Kush mansion in Gretna into a substance abuse treatment center for youth.

Omaha developer Frank Krejci purchased the mansion in an auction late last year. He then selected Catholic Charities to put the house to use. His generosity will enable the agency to improve its effort to help clients in Journeys, a program that gives hope to youth struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction.

Krejci made a wise choice because Catholic Charities is known for helping tens of thousands of people every year.

Now, we can do our part by joining the fight against hunger and supporting the campaign to renovate a facility for Journeys.

The Catholic Voice

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