Brian R Corbin's Reflections on Religion and Life

Living Your Faith as Citizens and Leaders in Politics, Culture, Society and Business

Fight Poverty With Faith @FPWF starts in Youngstown

Today I joined Congressman Tim Ryan, Bonnie Burdman (Jewish Relations Center), State Representative Sean O’Brien, Rev Lewis Macklin (ACTION president), George Garchar (Social Action/Catholic Charities) and others to purchase food for the week based on the average Food Stamp allocation: $31.50.  Come visit our webpage at Catholic Charities on how you can become involved in this process

We all ventured to Save A Lot stores located at the corner of Gypsy and Belmont Avenue Youngstown.  Co-owners John Kawecki and Henry Nemenz, Jr, greeted us, along with local TV cameras/reporters.  Congressman Ryan and Bonnie Burdman served as our local spokespersons discussing the National Week and the FPWF.  The Save-A-Lot co-owners helped us locate foodstuffs, especially sale items that proved cost effective and beneficial.

Here is my purchase:

4 cans of tuna in water:  $2.52

Canned salmon: $2.49

Peanuts: @2.99

1 lb bag of dry black eye peas: $1.79

Tea bags (50): $1.59

Black pepper for seasoning: $1.99

Bread, lite wheat: $1.89

1.5 lbs of bartlett pears: $1.56

1 lb of tomatoes: $1.28

.72 lb of onions: $0.71

2.22 lbs of mustard greens: @2.20

2.71 ibs of turnip greens: $2.68

TOTAL:  $23.69

My plan is to make from the onions, pepper, black eye peas and greens into a recipe called: “sleek”.  I will need 2 tbs of oil ($1.00) and some nutmeg ($1.00).  This will make 9 -11 servings of sleek.  A good source of protein and vegetables.

I will use the tuna and the salmon as the full protein for lunch and dinner meals this week.  I do have some eggs in the house already, so will plan to eat 2 eggs each morning with a side of sleek for breakfast.

I also have to confess:  I have a board meeting on Tuesday evening, so dinner will be free. I have a community event on Thursday evening at a college so dinner will be free; I also have a lunch event that same day and someone paid for lunch already.   I have a private meeting on Friday, so lunch will be free.  I am able to cover 4 meals this week through the generosity of 4 organizations.  THANKS  to St. Elizabeth, First Friday Club of Youngstown, Malone University, and Barb Z.

For a week, 7 days, three meals: 21 meals.

4 are free.

Need to eat on this budget for 17 meals

Hope I am doing the math right.

Any suggestions?

Filed under: Catholic Charities USA, Economic Policy, morals, Personal Reflections, Poverty, Spirituality, Uncategorized

Catholic health/Charities position on health care debate

Recently, there has been an attempt by some bloggers and others to distort the position of Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Health Association and the St. Vincent de Paul Society on their and the Church’s position on the current health care debate.

The Catholic Bishops have been calling for reform in health care since they published a Pastoral Letter on health care.

For a clarification and articulation of the Church’s position see comments by Sr. Carol, the President of Catholic Health Association of the US in a CNS article.

Filed under: Catholic Charities USA, Church-State, Economic Policy, healthcare, Medical Ethics, morals, Social Doctrine

Catholic Charities USA: Hurricane Relief Efforts/Call for Donations

Charity Responding to Hurricane Gustav

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana, SEPT. 1, 2008 ( ).- As Hurricane Gutav batters the Gulf Coast, Catholic Charities USA stands ready to respond with humanitarian relief.

The storm hit the coast of Louisiana today as a Category 2 storm. The 110 mph winds and torrential rains generated by Gustav have left more than 1 million without power in the region.

After the storm, local Catholic Charities throughout the region plan to open community resource sites. The bulk distribution sites will offer water, basic food essentials, cleanup supplies, personal care kits, and other items to meet the communities’ recovery needs.

In addition, teams will be deployed into the affected areas to make damage assessments and identify unmet needs in the communities. These assessments will help Catholic Charities determine how best to tailor their response efforts in the days, weeks and months to come.

Kim Burgo, senior director of disaster response for Catholic Charities USA, stated, “Using our experience from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, we stand ready to respond to Gustav with speed, reliability, and a long-term commitment to helping the impacted region recover.”

For local information on how you can donate to these efforts, contact Brian Corbin or visit the Diocese of Youngstown Catholic Charities webpage.

Filed under: Caritas, Catholic Charities USA

Catholic Charities: US Has Too Many Poor

Census Shows More People Living in Poverty

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia, AUG. 28, 2008 ( ).- The president of Catholic Charities USA said it is “unacceptable” that there are 37.3 million poor people in a nation as prosperous as the United States.

Father Larry Snyder said this in response to statistics released Tuesday by the United States Census Bureau, which revealed that 800,000 more people are living in poverty in the United States this year.

“It is unacceptable that in a nation that is as prosperous as ours that 37.3 million people, including 13.3 million children, continue to live in poverty,” Father Snyder said. “At 12.5%, the poverty rate indicates that reducing poverty is not a priority for this nation.”
The priest said his organization and its member agencies serve nearly 8 million needy people a year.

“The poverty rate is not just another economic statistic,” he said. “This unacceptable figure represents the millions of families we see each and every day who are struggling just to make ends meet.”

Father Snyder affirmed that the downturn in the U.S. economy has worsened the situation.

“Across our nation, Catholic Charities agencies are seeing more and more people having to choose between putting food on the table, paying their utility bills, or making their rent or mortgage payments,” he said. “Needing help with food, rent, clothing and prescriptions are all symptoms of much larger problems facing the poor and vulnerable in America, such as low wages and the lack of affordable housing and health care.”

The charity organization has launched a campaign to cut the poverty rate in half by 2020. They are urging Americans to demand that their political representatives make poverty a priority.

“In this election year, candidates for public office — especially our presidential candidates — must move from rhetoric to action and propose comprehensive plans to address the needs of more than 37 million people living in poverty in the United States over the next decade,” Father Synder said. “We call on all Americans to ask their candidates, ‘If elected, what will you do to address poverty?'”

Filed under: Caritas, Catholic Charities USA

Catholic Charities USA Calls for National Commitment to Address the Challenges of Race and Poverty

Catholic Charities USA Calls for National Commitment to Address the Challenges of Race and Poverty

Released : Monday, January 21, 2008 11:00 AM

New Paper on Race and Poverty Released on Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

DETROIT, Jan. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Catholic Charities USA today marked Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day by calling for a renewed commitment to address the intertwined problems of racism and poverty that undermine America’s fundamental promise of liberty, economic security, and justice for all.

The call to action was made today during a holiday Mass at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Detroit where Rev. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA, released a new paper on the issue: Poverty and Racism: Overlapping Threats to the Common Good.

“In order to adequately and seriously address poverty in this country, we must have a candid conversation and subsequent action that changes the impact race has on poverty,” Father Snyder said. “We realize that racism is an uncomfortable subject for many people, but we also believe that Catholic Charities must be willing not only to talk about racism, but to initiate and lead a conversation that is desperately needed if we are going to truly provide help and offer hope to those we serve.”

The paper intends to start, enrich, and inform a conversation within the Catholic Charities network and throughout the country by compelling every individual to serve, educate, and advocate for programs and policies that will foster unity in communities, eliminate racism, and significantly reduce poverty. The paper is part of Catholic Charities USA’s Campaign to Reduce Poverty in America, an effort which seeks to cut the U.S. poverty rate in half by 2020.

While whites make up the majority of the poor in the U.S., poverty rates are highest among minorities. U.S. Census figures show that in 2006, the overall national poverty rate was 12.3 percent, with the rate for African Americans at 24.3 percent, nearly three times higher than the 8.2 percent poverty rate for whites.

“Local Catholic Charities agencies across the country help nearly 8 million people a year,” said Fr. Snyder. “Every day, we see the faces of the poor across America, and we know firsthand how race and poverty are interconnected.”

Father Snyder acknowledged that great strides have been made in addressing racism in the United States, but emphasized that more can and must be done.

“Poverty is a moral and social wound on the soul of our nation, and the ghosts of our nation’s legacy of racial inequality continue to haunt us,” he said. “Racism fractures the unity of the human family, violates the rights of individuals, mocks the God-given equal dignity that everyone deserves, and is absolutely incompatible with our Christian faith and belief.”

The paper contends that racism entails more than conscious ill-will, more than deliberate acts of avoidance, exclusion, malice, and violence perpetrated by individuals. Racism also describes the reality of unearned advantage, conferred dominance, and invisible privilege enjoyed by white Americans, to the detriment, burden, and disadvantage of people of color. The paper states that this network of racially conferred advantages and benefits, which has been termed “white privilege,” also must be addressed.

Catholic Charities Seeks Change in Federal Programs

In addition to examining the reality and history of racial injustice in America, Poverty and Racism: Overlapping Threats to the Common Good also calls for a renewed commitment to racial equality as a national priority. It urges Congress and the Administration to strengthen laws that address poverty that is racially caused or aggravated. These include:

— Adoption of progressive affirmative action programs for education and employment;

— Passage of programs that promote quality educational opportunities for the poor;

— Making critically needed investments in public schools and in safety net programs such as food stamps, Medicaid, and Medicare;

— Comprehensive immigration reform;

— Wide-ranging criminal justice reforms;

— Improved fair housing laws;

— Increased federal funding for affordable housing;

— Enactment of tougher laws to punish predatory lenders; and

— Adoption of measures that help the poor get access to low-cost Internet service.

“Our battles against poverty and racism will not be easy, and success will be measured in years, not days or months,” Father Snyder said. “It is my hope that our work can make a difference, even if it is just laying the foundation that others may build upon. We ask others to join us in our effort to fight racism and cut poverty in half so that together, we can make our country whole.”

The paper, Poverty and Racism: Overlapping Threats to the Common Good, can be found online at

Catholic Charities USA’s members — more than 1,700 local agencies and institutions nationwide — provide help and create hope for more than 7.8 million people a year regardless of religious, social, or economic background. For more than 275 years, local Catholic Charities agencies have been providing a myriad of vital services in their communities, ranging from day care and counseling to food and housing. For more information, visit

SOURCE Catholic Charities USA

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Filed under: Caritas, Catholic Charities USA