Jon Cartu Reviews: Church marks bicentennial of Restoration with 200 donations - Jonathan Cartu Charity Foundation
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Jon Cartu Reviews: Church marks bicentennial of Restoration with 200 donations

Church marks bicentennial of Restoration with 200 donations

Jon Cartu Reviews: Church marks bicentennial of Restoration with 200 donations

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is commemorating the 200th anniversary of the gospel Restoration by delivering food to 200 pantries and charities throughout the state of New York.

Partnering with faith-based nonprofit food pantries and other local charities, deliveries began in the Rochester area and New York City area last week and will continue in the weeks to come where there is great need, according to a statement.

These donations are a timely gift, said Abubakr Abdul-Latif, the director of operations for Barakah Muslim Charity in Rochester.

“It’s huge, because you know that (with) COVID, people are losing their jobs and not having enough money and food to sustain them for a week,” Abdul-Latif said in a statement.

Alma Omerhodzic, the charity’s financial director, agreed.

“Barakah Muslim Charity operates in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the whole country,” she said. “So even before the current situation with the virus, these (were) really people who (had) great needs, and you can just imagine what COVID has done to this community.”

Benjamin Lee, an operations manager for Eastern Service Workers, said the donation have provided a “tremendous boost.”

“We couldn’t do what we do without our many partners in the community who have stepped up to help,” he said. “At the end of the day, it takes an organized community to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in the community.”

Both Barakah Muslim Charity and Eastern Service Workers received 5,000 pounds of food each, which they reported was the largest single food donation they have ever received.

The food items were produced and harvested from church-owned farms in Utah and the Intermountain West and processed in Utah canneries. Among the canned goods and other nonperishable items shipped to New York included green beans, mashed potato granules, chili, salsa, macaroni, pasta and spaghetti sauce.

Dozens of Latter-day Saint volunteers from Rochester helped unload and sort through tens of thousands of pounds of food prior to distribution. More will serve in the weeks to come as additional truckloads of food will be delivered throughout New York state.

“The Lord blessed us this year with a bounteous crop, and we’re able to (use this surplus to) distribute these products where they’re most needed,” said Richard Long, welfare manager for the church’s North America Northeast Area.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, announced the initiative in New York last February.

“Religious institutions are at their best working with one another and in collaboration with secular and governmental organizations to relieve suffering and to act preventatively in strengthening families, communities, and society in general,” the apostle said on that occasion.

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