PHOTOS BY JEANNINE RIPPA
The Garden of Love at 78 Hudson Ave., Haverstraw again hosted Archbishop of New York, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan for the annual Blessing of the Soil in support of Catholic Charities Community Services of Rockland’s (CCCSR) mission.
CCCSR has the only food pantry in the Northeast with its own greenhouse, which will be used to grow vegetables during the winter months ensuring that those in need of assistance have access to healthy food all year long. It is a successful prototype of ‘Farm to Food Pantry.
Executive Director of Catholic Charities Community Services of Rockland Martha Robles had the initial vision and secured a grant through NYS Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski. She then brought together a team to install the first greenhouse on the site of a Food Pantry in the Northeast and managed to get nearly everything donated.
Msgr. Emmet Nevin, Dean of Rockland County, recited the opening prayer on Saturday. Board Chairperson Joan Facelle, M.D., M.P.H. of Catholic Charities Community Services of Rockland, made the opening and closing remarks as well as the introductions. Deputy County Executive Guillermo Rosa; Kenneth Zebrowski, Assemblyman; Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities for ADNY; Martha Robles, Executive Director of Catholic Charities Community Services of Rockland, all spoke. Guest of Honor, His Eminence, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, blessed the soil and the new greenhouse installed since last year.
In an average year CCCSR serves over 115,000 meals to nearly 12,000 in need of assistance.