Holy Name Medical Center, Bergen Catholic High School and Grains of Hope Package and Send 48,000 meals to Haiti in Response to Call for International Aid
Holy Name Medical Center partnered with Bergen Catholic High School and Grains of Hope to fight hunger and food insecurity in Haiti, packing enough meals during the three-hour event to feed nearly 48,000 people.
“At this time of year, Holy Name typically sends toys and clothing to our hospital in Haiti, Hôpital Sacré Coeur,” said Mike Maron, president and CEO of Holy Name. “This year, with a loud cry, the staff told us to send food. That’s what the event was all about: people working in collaboration with each other to help feed starving families. It was a great endeavor and demonstration of the principles and values shared by Holy Name, Bergen Catholic, and Grains of Hope.”
The carefully coordinated volunteer effort involved teams from all three organizations who donated their time, resources, and support. Then, it was up to more than 200 Bergen Catholic students and their families to fill, weigh, seal, and pack bagged meals into boxes for shipment. Each bag contained six servings of soy, macaroni, and powdered cheese.
“Part of our mission is giving back to those less fortunate locally, nationally and internationally,” said Dr. Brian Mahoney, president of Bergen Catholic High School. “Coming together as a school community to support such an important program and help the people of Haiti has been incredibly rewarding and humbling.”
“I thought it was a great experience and knowing we had a hand in helping families in Haiti who are experiencing hunger made it even better,” said Joseph Barry, a freshman at Bergen Catholic High School.
The food will travel via cargo ship and arrive at Hôpital Sacré Coeur in Milot, Haiti by mid-January, which coincides with the 10 year anniversary of that devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake that rocked the capital city of Port-au-Prince, killing and displacing hundreds of thousands of people.
Hôpital Sacré Coeur is sponsored by Holy Name and is located roughly 70 miles from the epicenter of the quake. It is the largest private medical center in northeastern Haiti and is a beacon of hope for a nation still in recovery. It also continues to serve as a primary food distribution point for the region.
While progress has been made over the past decade, Haiti is still rebuilding and healing. According to a recent report from the European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, social and political unrest continue to paralyze economic activities in Haiti, causing food prices to soar. As a result, the Government of Haiti issued a request for international food assistance in early November.
“Our mission is to address hunger and food insecurity,” said Frank Unger, co-chair of Grains of Hope. “The energy and dedication we saw from Holy Name and Bergen Catholic inspired us to continue to expand our efforts. Grains of Hope began with humble roots eight years ago in Pequannock and has since grown to be an internationally known humanitarian aid organization that is now operational in three New Jersey counties. By the end of 2019, we will have produced half a million meals for the world’s hungry and will continue to seek committed partners to further our reach.”
Once delivered to Hôpital Sacré Coeur, meals will be distributed to those who are sick, blind, and housebound. Food will also be provided to local orphanages and other vulnerable villages and communities.
For more information about how to support Haiti and Hôpital Sacré Coeur, visit crudem.org.
To inquire about hosting an event in partnership with Grains of Hope, visit GoHnj.org.