By N. Cuttitta and M. Garorti, Catholic Charities of Orange County     1/8/2020

On Saturday, Nov. 23, more than 1,000 people gathered to receive food at the Cantlay Food Distribution Center, which provides fresh produce, and packaged food items to people in need. For the special Thanksgiving event, not only did the Cantlay Center provide their usual food items to hundreds of low-income families, but they also gave out turkeys and fresh produce items such as onions, potatoes, carrots, and more to enable the families to cook a wonderful Thanksgiving meal.  

The week before this special Thanksgiving event, Bishop Kevin Vann came to bless the Cantlay Center.  It was a wonderful opportunity to gather in celebration and gratitude for the many lives that are touched by the help the Cantlay Food Distribution Center, a 43-year-old outreach by Catholic Charities of Orange County. 

CalFresh Healthy Living, another program from Catholic Charities of Orange County, was also on site to provide important information about nutrition and health for the families in attendance. CalFresh Healthy Living provided brochures about eating healthier and invited people to attend their nutrition classes, which are offered completely free of charge thanks to the continuous support of donors that invest wholeheartedly in the mission of Catholic Charities of Orange County. 

Over one hundred volunteers gathered to help. These volunteers included members of The Order of Malta and The Catholic Charities Auxiliary, as well as students from Mater Dei High School and Santa Margarita Catholic High School. Patrick Imburgia, the chairman of the board for Catholic Charities, said “It’s important for the students to be there because they were walking side by side with people in need.  As the students helped people carry their groceries out, they saw that some families had cars, but others had traveled by bike or bus. By volunteering, the students were able to give back to the community and directly see the people they were helping.” 

The Cantlay Food Distribution Center was able to provide food to hundreds of children, adults and seniors in need. This was possible thanks to the help of generous donors, volunteers, and the energetic staff of Catholic Charities of Orange County.   

“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.” Proverbs 19:17 ESV