Tue, Feb 26th 2019 02:00 pm
Sister Marie Andre Main, center, poses with HOPE Committee members Frank and Christine O'Connor in Trocaire's student food pantry, Catherine's Cupboard. (Courtesy of Trocaire College)
Two local parishes made a generous gift to Trocaire's food pantry this past December, donating $2,000 to help assist in its mission to alleviate food insecurity among students.
The HOPE (Help Our People Everywhere) Committee of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Martin of Tours Parishes donated the funds to Catherine's Cupboard after learning about it from its coordinator, Sister Marie Andre Main, RSM. Funds for HOPE are raised via special collections in each church, and parishioners vote on which local organization receives support.
Both churches are located on Abbott Road in South Buffalo, just minutes from Trocaire's Choate Avenue campus.
Catherine's Cupboard was launched in the fall 2018 semester after an on-campus survey of Trocaire students reflected national trends: 33 percent of participating students identified as food insecure.
The pantry named after Sisters of Mercy founder Catherine McAuley provides microwavable and non-perishable food items to students for immediate use or to take home for their families. Toiletries and personal supplies like toothbrushes, feminine hygiene items and diapers are also available. All are provided freely and discretely to any student who needs them, and Sister Marie Andre also shares appropriate community resources that may further assist the student.
On-campus food drives and employee and student donations support the pantry, which is open four days a week in room 340. Sister Marie Andre said the donation from the HOPE Committee is a "great honor for Trocaire College and a great financial benefit for Catherine's Cupboard."