||Bishop Robert C. Morlino receives a check for $7,826 from Ron Faust, state advocate of the Knights of Columbus, on behalf of the knights. The bishop rounded the funds up to $8,000 to help families in need of food throughout the diocese. (Catholic Herald photo/Kat Wagner)
MADISON -- Knights of Columbus throughout the 11 counties that make up the Diocese of Madison have collected nearly $8,000 and turned the money over to Bishop Robert C. Morlino to feed local families in need.
Knights of Columbus state advocate Ron Faust presented Bishop Morlino with the check for $7,826 from their “Food for Families” initiative. In accepting the check on September 8, Bishop Morlino, himself a Knight of Columbus, offered to round out the amount to an even $8,000.
The bishop also made the determination as to how the funds would be effectively distributed through Catholic Charities of Madison, the official outreach arm of the Madison Diocese. He indicated that he wanted a portion of the funds to go to feeding families in the Madison area via the Catholic Multicultural Center’s food pantry and food program and the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry, both of whom operate food pantries on the city’s south side.
The other half of the money would go toward feeding families throughout the diocese via Catholic Charities’s Mobile Food Pantry. As indicated by its name, the Catholic Charities Mobile Food Pantry moves through communities around Southcentral and Southwestern Wisconsin, distributing food to those who are in need.
‘Food for Families’
The funds from the Knights of Columbus were raised through the national “Food for Families” effort, which has mobilized thousands of volunteers to collect food and financially support food banks in the United States and Canada since it began in November 2009. The program encourages each state or provincial jurisdiction to work with their local parish churches and other public places to collect food for food banks in their area. Those states and provinces in which a significant number of councils participate are then allocated a portion of a $1 million fund to be divided and distributed among food banks in their areas.
Wisconsin, a jurisdiction with 278 councils, placed second in the entire order with 44 percent of its councils participating in the program. The total award for Wisconsin was around $47,000, which was divided among the five dioceses according to the Catholic population.
Bishop Morlino offered his gratitude to the Knights and encouraged them in their continued charitable works.
“From their founding the Knights have been there to support families in need and in a particular way to care for Catholic widows and families,” he said. “Through their actions, our Knights prove to be who they say — good Catholic men, standing up for their faith and for families.
“There is much good to be done and though, in the grand scheme, there is much more need, little by little we can each do our part and make a real difference for those in our community,” Bishop Morlino said.
The additional $8,000 will help complement contributions that the diocese plans to make to Catholic Charities of over $450,000 from this past year’s Annual Catholic Appeal. Of that collection, to be dispersed by Catholic Charities, $140,000 was announced to be intended for the support of the Catholic Multicultural Center, which is run by Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Madison.
In July, it was announced that diocesan Catholic Campaign for Human Development funds of $10,000 and $6,000 would be given in support of the Catholic Multicultural Center’s “Just-us Artisan Producer” program to educate and train future food service workers, and a program in support of local farms in Sauk ,County, respectively.
Together the Church in Madison continues to attend to the physical and spiritual needs of all those in Southwestern Wisconsin.