Holy Family collects food for Puerto Rico hurricane victims

They will ship more than 5,000 cans of food.

Holy Family University is shipping more than 5,000 cans of food to those in need in Puerto Rico, which is still impacted by Hurricane Maria.

The effort was coordinated by Sister Mary Ellen Gemmell, an adjunct instructor in Spanish who spent 35 years working in Puerto Rico. She recalls the deadly Hurricane Hugo in 1989, and said Puerto Rico faces hurricane threats every year.

“We wanted to do something. They don’t have enough food. They don’t have enough water. One can can make a difference,” she said.

Holy Family President Sister Maureen McGarrity and trustee Dominic Marano, a trucking company owner, backed the effort.

“They’re not going to have electricity till December,” Marano said.

The donations are being delivered to Caritas de Puerto Rico, a humanitarian group serving the needy in the area. A total of six pallets of food will be delivered.

Holy Family students and staff were generous in donating to the cause.

Others joining the food drive included Alpha House Nursery, Pre-K, and Kindergarten; Nazareth Academy Grade School; Nazareth Academy High School; St. Katherine of Siena School; Christ the King School; Our Lady of Calvary School; Cheltenham Elementary School; Acme Corrugated Box Co. Inc.; Mount Nazareth; Walmart; and ShopRite.

American Airlines will be transporting the goods free of charge. Marano Truck Lines provided assistance on packing the items and donated several pallets to use during the shipping process.

“It’s really a community effort,” said Sister Maureen McGarrity.

Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez Nieves, of San Juan, thanked the Holy Family community and sent a blessing and prayers. ••