Two Catholic Food Pantries Team Up to Fight Hunger, Inspired by Currents News Report

Tags: Currents Brooklyn, NY, Faith, Family, Inspiration, Media, Queens, NY

By Katie Vasquez

The line to the Father Felix Varela Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen in Corona wraps through the parking lot and down the block. People wait as early as 7 am for the doors to open at 3 pm. It’s a demand that Our Lady of Sorrows Pastor Father Manuel Rodriguez says can sometimes be overwhelming.

“People here, they need food. And the number of asylum seekers, refugees, and new immigrants is growing every day, every day,” said Father Manuel Rodriguez, Pastor at Our Lady of Sorrows. “So, you see more people coming, more people in need of food.”

The church opened the food pantry in September 2023 and quickly began feeding dozens of people weekly at the soup kitchen and every month at the food pantry. But more was needed for the growing lines.

Luckily, this report on Currents News caught the eye of Sister Caroline Tweedy at St. John’s Bread and Life.

“We were watching Currents News one night, and we saw this piece that Currents did on, you know, Our Lady of Sorrows and the fact that they were really reaching out into the community to serve the newly arrived and especially the people in the community itself who were struggling,” Sister Caroline said. “And we said, ‘You know, this is what we do every day. How can we partner with them to make a difference?'”

Bread and Life started supplying more food to the Queen’s Pantry, giving enough to feed 300 more people and enabling the pantry to open its doors for a second day every month.

“To me, it was a sign from God,” said Father Rodriguez. “Sister Caroline and the team, her amazing team at St. John’s Bread and Life, they became aware about the goodness, you know, of this initiative, actually through our wonderful media connection with our currents and DeSales.”

Sister Caroline and Father Rodriguez believe the pantry can have a more significant effect on the Corona community.

“I think that this helps not only the actual families who receive the actual food, but it helps everyone because when people are hungry in a community, bad things happen. Crime rates skyrocket, people get agitated, more violent violence takes place.”

“Our hope is that we can continue to make that grow so that there’s less of a reliance on the parish community itself. And the parish then can take their resources and grow the parish.”

They will keep helping those in need, one bag at a time.

For more information on how to help or donate to the Father Felix Varela Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen at Our Lady of Sorrows in Corona, go to