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North Carolina parish raises enough money to send 240,000 pounds of food to poor

John Burger - published on 11/06/20

St. Matthew's in Charlotte comes together to help the hungry in Haiti, Jamaica and locally.

One parish in North Carolina in a recent fundraising campaign raised over a quarter of a million dollars. Enough to buy, say, a nice house in the suburbs.

But the campaign was not for something that could benefit just a single family but to feed thousands of poor people in Haiti, Jamaica and elsewhere.

St. Matthew’s parish in Charlotte, N.C., set a goal of $220,000 in order to ship more than 240,000 pounds of food and supplies and provide funds for education and sustainability programs in some of the most impoverished areas of the Caribbean and Central America. In spite of limitations that were presented due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the parish ended up raising $251,000 and plans to ship an estimated 320,000 pounds of food.

The 18th annual Monsignor McSweeney World Hunger Drive turned out to be one of St. Matthew’s most successful campaigns. The drive supports the Missionaries of the Poor, a religious community that serves in Haiti and Jamaica. Other beneficiaries of the drive include children in the Diocese of La Guaiara, Venezuela, and local hunger-fighting efforts in North Carolina.

“Over the past 18 years, the campaign has provided more than 3.2 million pounds of food and supplies, as well as money for education, agriculture and irrigation supplies, and the stocking of tilapia and chicken farms in Haiti and Jamaica,” reported the Catholic News Herald, newspaper of the Diocese of Charlotte.

“The Monsignor McSweeney World Hunger Drive is one of the many impressive works of mercy that St. Matthew parishioners undertake each year,” Fr. John Allen, parochial administrator, told the News Herald. “We are blessed to share the communion of prayer, solidarity and friendship with our family in Haiti and the Missionaries of the Poor. I am so grateful to all who have shown such remarkable support for our virtual food drive and for the incredible impact it is providing in the wake of the pandemic and so much conflict in Haiti.”

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