Catholic Charities USA Hosts Centennial Year Poverty Reduction Summit in New Jersey

Jun 17, 2010, 10:18 ET from Catholic Charities USA

Conference Engages Community, Recognizes Effective Programs

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J., June 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Catholic Charities USA, the 170-member national human services organization committed to cutting poverty in half by 2020 -- joined by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark -- convened one of 10 Centennial Summits today at Seton Hall University, in South Orange, NJ, as part of the organization's 100 year history. Rev. Larry Snyder, President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA presented the Centennial Recognition Program Award to local programs that demonstrate strong work and focused efforts to strengthen communities and reduce poverty.



The event featured an opening keynote address by Fr. Larry Snyder, President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, and an afternoon address focusing on how to bring national prominence to regional work by Candy Hill, Sr. Vice President of Social Policy and Government Affairs.

A morning panel, moderated by Marie DeNoia, news anchorwoman for NJN Public Television and Radio, featured Thomas Stelzer, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs; Ambassador; Oscar de Rojas, Retired Director of Financing for Development Secretariat of the United Nations; Charles M.A. Clark, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Vincentian Center for Church and Society, Professor of Economics at St. John's University; and Karen White, Director of the Working Families Program Center for Women and Work at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

An afternoon panel, moderated by Allan Daul, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark, featured Arnold Cohen, Policy Coordinator of the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey; Marlene Lao-Collins, Director for Social Concerns at the New Jersey Catholic Conference; and Allan Lichtenstein, Senior Researcher at the New Jersey Poverty Research Institute, a service of the Legal Services of New Jersey Corporation.

The summit also included an awards presentation honoring three Catholic Charities programs that are effectively working to reduce poverty in their communities. The innovative programs were recognized for best practices in Catholic Charities USA's poverty issue areas: health, housing, hunger, economic security, education/job training.  Each agency received a $25,000 award to invest in further development of their program.

  • Recipe for Success

New Hampshire Catholic Charities

Since 1984, the New Hampshire Food Bank (NHFB), a program of New Hampshire Catholic Charities, has provided food to qualified nonprofit programs serving the hungry throughout New Hampshire. A certified affiliate of Feeding America, the New Hampshire Food Bank is the only food warehouse distribution center in the state. In addition to food distribution, NHFB has also developed innovative outreach programs, called Recipe For Success, that seek to address the root causes of hunger. Recipe for Success is a four-part program combines job training, nutrition education, fresh rescue, and a community garden to help serve people in our community who are at risk of hunger.

  • St. Bridget's HIV/AIDS Support Network

The St. Bridget's HIV/AIDS Support Network enables HIV-positive persons to maintain access to the continuum of HIV services through the incorporation of integral service components including case management, substance abuse services, and nutritionally balanced meals within an emergency and transitional housing setting. Since 1991, St. Bridget's HIV/AIDS Support Network has offered a wide array of support services from a single location including: emergency shelter and transitional housing; case management; social I recreational adult day program; meals and food referrals; life skills; health education; referrals to affiliated medical services for the diagnosis and treatment of HIV/AIDS-related illnesses; transportation; specialized counseling for coping with HIV/AIDS; advocacy for and assistance with obtaining government entitlements; direct provision of emergency entitlements; referrals to "in-house" vocational assessment, training and placement; and referrals to other community-based providers of services.

  • The Thomas Merton Campus

Catholic Charities of Fairfield County

The Thomas Merton Campus is located in the heart of the poorest area (the Hollow) in the largest and poorest city in Connecticut, Bridgeport. It is also part of Fairfield County, the wealthiest County in the Country and a very difficult place to be poor. The campus addresses all five issue areas of Catholic Charities USA's Campaign to Reduce Poverty in America: health, housing, hunger, economic security, education/job training.   The Thomas Merton Center is a fully contained, holistic approach to fighting the poverty battle and creating a ladder of human dignity.

During the Summit, the photo exhibit was also on display. These evocative photos push the hidden adversity of Americans living in poverty into greater view. The South Orange summit is part of a nationwide series that will culminate in Washington, DC, on September, 26, 2010. The summits provide a forum for thought-leaders, major influencers and citizens-at-large to come together and act on poverty.

Catholic Charities USA's members—more than 1,700 local Catholic Charities agencies and institutions nationwide—provide help and create hope for nearly 9 million people a year regardless of religious, social, or economic backgrounds. For almost 300 years, Catholic Charities agencies have worked to reduce poverty by providing a myriad of vital services in their communities, ranging from health care and job training to food and housing. In 2010, Catholic Charities USA celebrates its centennial anniversary. For more information, visit

SOURCE Catholic Charities USA