Groups in southern part of country seek to help those hit hardest by COVID pandemic
Mama mia! Two tons of pasta.
That’s what four charitable organizations in southern Italy decided to donate to Pope Francis to be distributed to families having a tough time because of the coronavirus pandemic.
People in Italy this year now speak of a class of people known as the “new poor,“ including folks who have lost jobs or savings because of the economic downturn due to lockdowns, or families caring for members with a disability.
Each organization involved in the donation to Pope Francis — Stabat Mater Est, O.D.I., Amic.A and Cantiere Laboratorio — has a base in Taranto in southern Italy, where poverty rates tend to be higher than the rest of the country, reported Elise Ann Allen at Crux. “For years, Taranto itself has endured the impact of a social and economic crisis, including high levels of unemployment,” Allen wrote.
The organizations got together November 17 with the Archbishop of Taranto, Filippo Santoro, to present over 1,000 pounds of “Lori Puglia” pasta for the poor in his archdiocese. They also asked Archbishop Santoro to deliver pasta to the Papal Almoner, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, under the slogan, “Pasta for the pope’s poor.”
“You cannot stand by and watch those who are close to us in suffering,” the groups said in a statement. “You cannot close your eyes and pretend nothing is happening.”
The archbishop recognized their donations saying, “In this time marked by COVID, the right attitude is one of responsibility and sharing. And this leads to initiatives which precisely because of this are laudable, because they recall that Christian hope stops in front of nothing.”
Giuseppe Orlando, head of Stabat Mater Est, said, “In difficult times it would be more convenient to take care of your own garden. But if you look at your neighbor and welcome them with a smile rather than indifference and if you think that all children have the same rights, you can’t. You roll up your sleeves and help, support and comfort.”
According to the newspaper Corriere di Taranto, the delivery is expected to reach Krajewski in Rome Dec. 5.