By Gregg McQueen
Rolando Rodríguez got his wish – and then some.
A food pantry supervisor at Catholic Charities of New York, Rodríguez sought out a job with the agency because he wanted to help borough residents who were struggling.
“It’s what made me apply,” explained Rodríguez, who attended high school in the Bronx and spent a considerable amount of the time in the borough while growing up. “I’ve seen how people here have faced challenges and wanted to give back to a community that was a big part of my life.”
Rodríguez began his job at Catholic Charities one week before the Covid-19 pandemic shut down New York City.
“Little did I know what was about to happen,” he said with a smile. “It was a baptism by fire.”
This past week, Rodríguez helped coordinate a pop-up food pantry outside of Bronx Terminal Market.
The event on October 8 distributed 300 boxes of dry goods, fresh produce and dairy products to local families. It marked the latest in a series of pop-up food pantry events hosted by Catholic Charities’ Feeding Our Neighbors program.
“We’ve been coming to Bronx Terminal Market for over a year,” said Feeding Our Neighbors Program Director Corina Pintor. “We try to set up a pantry here once a month.”
A 2020 report from Hunger Free America indicated that one in five Bronx residents is experiencing food insecurity; particularly hard hit is the South Bronx.