As 2017 draws to a close, we are feeling grateful for all the important work being done by church outreach programs across the diocese. Programs funded by Episcopal Charities provide all kinds of necessary resources to New Yorkers in need–feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, bringing opportunities to underserved youth, supporting currently and formerly incarcerated people, providing resources for immigrant and refugee communities, and more. Read on to learn about some of the work our programs have been doing this year.
In 2017, Episcopal Charities was proud to fund a brand-new food pantry at SUNY Ulster. The program – a collaboration between the college, St. Andrew’s, New Paltz, the diocesan campus ministry comittee, and Christ the King, Stone Ridge – aimed at supporting community college students and their families. The pantry is now open twice a week to provide students with nutritious food in a warm, supportive environment.
Another new program funded in 2017 was the Nesin Cultural Arts Program, sponsored by St. John’s, Monticello. During the academic year, Nesin Cultural Arts provides classes in music, dance, and visual arts to students in rural Sullivan County; they also offer a one-week summer intensive for advanced students.
Episcopal Charities provides multi-year grants to programs which are thriving. One of our current multi-year grant recipients, the Mount Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry, is a coalition of faith-based institutions from across Northern Westchester, including St. Mark’s, Mount Kisco; St. Matthew’s, Bedford; and St. Stephen’s, Armonk. The pantry provides fresh, healthy food to an average of 244 households each week.
Summer programs are an essential part of the Episcopal Charities mission. The Manhattan North Inter-Parish Council Summer Educational Project is one of twelve programs working to bridge the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth through quality summer programming.
In 2017, the New York Common Pantry served six million meals to New Yorkers in need—twice as many as the year before. They also opened a new distribution site in the South Bronx, which Episcopal Charities is excited to help fund in collaboration with the Church of the Heavenly Rest.
Throughout the year, Episcopal Charities offers Sustainability Institute workshops designed to help programs grow and operate more effectively. Here, a trainer works with a group of youth program leaders in Poughkeepsie on how to promote positive behavior among the children they serve.