The Catholic University of America

Nov. 23, 2009

CUA Students Collect 125 Bags of Groceries for Thanksgiving Dinners For Neighbors

  Some of the Thanksgiving groceries that were delivered by CUA students to Brookland Family Collaborative and A Simple House

CUA students delivered 125 bags of Thanksgiving groceries to Brookland Family Collaborative and A Simple House, two organizations that distribute food to families in need prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. In addition, more than $1,200 in grocery gift cards were donated so that families can purchase fresh turkeys.

The Thanksgiving Project was one of many ways CUA students, faculty and staff observed National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week during the week of Nov. 15. The activities were organized by Campus Ministry's Social Justice Committee and also included volunteer opportunities at soup kitchens, discussions led by former homeless individuals and participation in the Help the Homeless Walk-a-thon.

Students and staff picked up shopping lists at Campus Ministry and the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center last week and took to the aisles of local supermarkets to purchase the groceries needed to fill the bags. Each bag contained all the fixings for Thanksgiving dinners, including green beans, bread, cranberry sauce, stuffing, onions, potatoes, gravy, corn and non-perishable desserts.

In addition to students donating groceries, the collections at the Campus Ministry Masses on Sunday, Nov. 15, were also designated to the cause so that members of Campus Ministry could purchase additional bags of food. Campus Ministry has conducted a similar collection for nearly 10 years. Besides the already bagged food, extra food was also collected and donated to A Simple House.

The donations to A Simple House were "providential," said Laura Cartagena, a 2005 graduate from CUA who works for the organization. The group found out that the organization that previously has provided food for them to distribute during the holidays would be unable to.

The donations from CUA "Show us God is taking care of us and of the poor," she said. "This is really wonderful and I think we'll be able to be really generous to the families we serve.

A Simple House provides "friendship evangelization" to the poor in Washington, D.C. Cartagena works at the organization with two other CUA graduates.

"We realize that bringing people material goods isn't enough," she says. The group also provides rides to doctors' appointments and church services and work to really know who they are serving through their ministry.