Food insecurity is an ongoing battle for many Philadelphians, especially for many living in the Kensington and Allegheny section of the city. Hunger-stricken working-poor citizens struggle to make ends meet. Homeless men and women battle to find their next meal. With over 22% of Philadelphians battling food insecurity citywide, fulfilling our mission to provide food to those in need continues to be essential. We can only do so with the help of our partners throughout the five counties, including Mother of Mercy House.
Mother of Mercy House (MOMH) is a devoted partner in fighting hunger. While they may have a small physical footprint, MOMH has a mighty and significant impact on their Kensington & Allegheny community. MOMH serves a very diverse population of all ages and walks of life. With their unconventional ministry on the streets, Father Murphy and Sister Mary Ellen have built a wonderful relationship with their clients, offering worship, and support groups alongside food distribution.
Just this year we had the opportunity to purchase a new refrigerator for MOMH, providing fresh, healthy options for their clients to choose from. Sister Mary Ellen shared, that “prior to receiving the refrigerator, we had to forgo accepting these very needed food staples for our families. Our NDS driver, Don, can usually find some treat to surprise our Thursday food line guests—last week it was fresh strawberries that kept well overnight in our refrigerator!”
MOMH is one of many food cupboards that we partner with throughout Philly and the surrounding counties where clients rely on weekly food distributions to put a wholesome meal on the table. It is collaborations like these that make our mission possible.
According to Father Murphy, “Every Thursday we are able to distribute 85 bags of groceries to our neighbors because of the assistance we receive from NDS. It is so nice to see how families trust us and we also see very clearly how much they depend on us to help them get by for another week.
In the words of the staff at MOMH:
“Having support from NDS is a blessing for the community we serve. Personally, it gives me the opportunity to see that the children and young adults I work with don’t go hungry. Many of us have no idea how true hunger feels, and the trickle down effect of that, including me. It’s some I no longer take for granted, and a worry no parent or child in our country should have. It is a fact that 10.5 % of all US households suffer from food insecurity. That fact is a reality in the community we serve at the Mother of Mercy House in Kensington. NDS has gifted us the means to make a difference.”
“We are most grateful for the support we receive from NDS each week. We can always depend on the sandwiches you send as many of those who come to our door do not have a home in which to live or cook. As you probably realize, we live in a food desert and when we were gifted with a refrigerator from NDS we were overjoyed!! This has enabled us to have fresh produce on hand for our people. We receive this fresh produce each week from the Kurtz family farm as well as milk, eggs, cheese from our association with the Caring for Friends organization as well as donations from our weekly benefactors in so many parishes near and far.”
“At this time of year, as we hear the words blessed and harvest and bounty we also realize that so many people are not able to experience this in their lives. The goodness of the many generous people who donate to NDS-and to us at MOMH-make sure that fewer people each week are not totally denied these basic needs.”