By Katie Beckmann Mahon, Communications Manager
Cathy McCann has been quite busy over the past few months.
At the beginning of the COVID outbreak, she came out of retirement to assist the New Jersey VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) in handling the initial pandemic response at food banks and pantries across the state.
“When COVID first spread and hit home, I knew I had to come back and help those in need,” shared McCann, who also serves as the Director of the Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt Associate Program.
She added, “When I got the call, it felt like it was God’s call. I felt grateful to be called on and to have a ministry to continue.”
As part of her ministry, McCann managed food bank and pantry databases across the state, as well as ensured that the public was able to access them easily.
“For our essential workers, and others – some are just a paycheck away from having to go to a food bank or pantry.”
She also served as the VOAD liaison to food banks and pantries and even helped them secure volunteers and PPE equipment during critical times.
The impact that McCann has able to have in her ministry in the past few months has been especially meaningful as it has deepened her connection to the mission of the Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York.
“The congregation's mission and everything that we are working on, from hunger to racism, has been intensified since COVID. The need to work together has been important. It has made us all more aware of things and how important our nurses, teachers, and doctors are.”
As McCann and VOAD continue to move forward from the worst days of the pandemic, she hopes to continue raising awareness about her organization and their work to fight hunger insecurity.
“Food banks and pantries have had a real place during this pandemic, but it is important to note that these places are here 365 days a year.”
McCann, a Dominican Associate since 1991, also hopes to continue working with the congregation to advocate for the better treatment of essential workers across the United States.
When asked what she would say to essential workers, she responded, “Thank you. You are all a blessing that we don’t always appreciate. Unless you know someone who is a part of it, you don’t know what they do from day to day. You all are the real heroes, keeping people safe every day.”