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Catholic Charities, United Way distribute Thanksgiving meals

Michael Durkin, president and CEO of United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, and Catholic Charities president Deborah Kincade Rambo stand among the thousands of bags of Thanksgiving meals with volunteers as they helped to distribute turkeys at the Catholic Charities Yawkey Center in Dorchester on Nov. 17. Pilot photo/courtesy Suzanne Ouellette, Catholic Charities

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DORCHESTER -- Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley joined staff and volunteers at Catholic Charities' Yawkey Center location in Dorchester on Nov. 19 to give Thanksgiving meals to local families in need.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston gave out 3,175 meals to families in need throughout Boston and the surrounding communities that week.

Catholic Charities partnered with United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley to distribute 7,000 meals throughout the Thanksgiving holiday, for the event. Catholic Charities was to provide seasonal and holiday assistance to over 4,000 families across eastern Massachusetts this season.

With a continued rise in food prices, the demand for assistance remains high, so Catholic Charities in Dorchester provided the project's largest distribution site at Yawkey Center where the cardinal joined the work.

The broader project brought together several regional nonprofits including Catholic Charities, Interfaith Social Services, YMCA, Centerboard, Randolph High School, Lawrence Community Works, Thrive in 5, and Weymouth Food Pantry. The project is made possible by support from corporate sponsors such as Stop and Shop, Goya Foods, UPS, Equity Office, and Putnam Investments. Dunkin' Donuts will provide free samples of hot coffee, hot chocolate and assorted donuts and Munchkins at the project's Dorchester site.

In addition to corporate support, hundreds of local volunteers donated their time over the past week, packaging the 7,000 Thanksgiving grocery bags and over 150,000 pounds of food at 100 Summer Street in downtown Boston in space donated by Equity Office. Volunteers will also donate their time distributing meals throughout the region.

Catholic Charities provides approximately 140 programs and services throughout eastern Massachusetts. These services respond to the needs of the poor and working poor, provide supportive services to children and families, and assist refugees and immigrants as they become active participants in their communities. Last year, Catholic Charities served more than 180,000 people in need, regardless of faith.

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