By Deacon Gary DiLallo

image 2 copy - Church and club form partnership to feed the hungry

Deacon Gary DiLallo and Brian Takacs, maintenance supervisor for Most Holy Rosary Church in Maine, load boxed food at the church.

“Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up. So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all” (Galatians 6:9-10).

The Most Holy Rosary Human Development Committee has teamed up with West Corners Lions Club and Maine Memorial School to deliver boxes of food to families in Maine, Broome County.

Since the Mobile Food Pantry closed in Maine, we are now filling the need and providing food.

The families who received the food, bread, and milk were so thankful. One young boy followed us as we were making deliveries to other families and continued to thank us for the food. There is a real need here and I am glad we are helping.

This was the fourth time the committee spearheaded the food collection and delivery. Darlene and Joe Voltz, co-chairs of the Human Development committee, packed the boxes that were sent out in July. The effort started in April.

Through Aug. 3, a total of 110 boxes of canned and dried goods from CHOW, coordinated by Dave Rutkowski, a member of the West Corners Lions Club, were delivered to needy families in the area. According to the Broome County Council of Churches’ website, CHOW stands for Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse, a network of nearly 100 partner agencies (pantries, community meals, and non-profit organizations).

About 20 fresh hams, 70 loaves of bread and rolls, 70 gallons of milk and an assortment of special treats was added to the food boxes delivered in May, June, and July. We also delivered a dozen 10-pound bags of dog food.

Special thanks to CHOW for providing the food and to an anonymous MHR parishioner for providing a multitude of healthy, nutritious snacks for the children; MHR parishioner Sue Helmer for providing bread and cereal; MHR parishioner Joe Cerwonka for providing the fresh hams; and the Lions’ Rutowski for coordinating the food delivery to the church.

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Lions Club Secretary Dave Rutowski, past district governor of the Southern Tier Lions Clubs, loads food at MHR

On July 27 and 31 we went to several locations in Maine to make the deliveries. Here are reactions:

“I had a great time yesterday delivering meals to some Maine Memorial School families with Deacon Gary DiLallo, Hilary Rozek, and Deacon Jim Tokos.

“It was a good opportunity to meet some families from Maine Memorial. I look forward to being a positive leader for the building and working with the community.” (Bill Dundon, Principal of Maine Memorial)

“It was a great feeling to welcome three new families to the town of Maine by delivering them much-needed food.” (Jim Tokos, Town of Maine Supervisor)

“This is my community. I grew up here and chose to raise my own children here. If I can be a part of anything that reaches out to others who call Maine home, it is my responsibility. Being a teacher, we are used to having daily contact with our children. During these troubled times, it is essential to set eyes upon our littlest members as often as possible, to make sure they are healthy and fed, as well as to build trust within their families. We need people to feel comfortable reaching out, whether in the form of a simple greeting as we pass by at events in town, or in a time of need. It serves as a reminder to count our blessings and pass them on, to the children, to their parents, and also their pets. One of the best parts of this is hearing and seeing the people looking out for their neighbors, not just themselves. They didn’t accept more than they need because they want to make sure others get something, too. Our world needs more of that.” (Hillary Rozek, teacher, Homer Brink Elementary School)

Deacon Gary DiLallo is the pastoral associate and business administrator at Most Holy Rosary Church in Maine.

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