From staff reports

Twelve parishes, organizations and agencies that serve the people of the Diocese of Trenton were awarded a total of $10,000 in grants from the 2019 Bishop George W. Ahr Endowment Fund.

The fund, named for the seventh bishop of the Diocese, was established to present annual grants for special projects. Any entity, apostolate, individual, special ministry or organization that attempts to provide services for the vulnerable and/or poor population within their community is eligible to apply for this grant support.

Awards are determined by the Bishop George W. Ahr Endowment Fund Committee, which selects from the pool of applicants who describe the amount needed with a detailed rationale for their requests. This year, 12 recipients were selected, and the $10,000 grant total is the endowment fund interest that is amassed in a year’s time.

On May 21, Msgr. Thomas N. Gervasio, diocesan vicar general and moderator of the curia, announced the recipients, which includes the Mercer County CYO of Trenton. The $800 granted to the organization will assist in the food programs at both the South Broad Street and East State Street facilities, supplying breakfast, lunch and/or snacks to needy children in their pre-school, before and after school and summer camp programs, explained Nancy Podeszwa, CYO grant proposal writer.

“This is wonderful, especially for the summer camp children,” she said, noting that these children qualify for free lunches during the school year but are left unsupported during the summer months. “When summer is here, these food programs mean a lot.”

Other winners include:

-- Bread from Heaven Café, Inc., Jackson ($500): To be used in soup kitchen project, which serves more than 100 guests;

-- Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton ($900): To fund couples’ education classes on relationship skills, parenting, financial management, conflict resolution and job and career advancement at Trenton’s El Centro, an agency that assists the Spanish-speaking community of the area with basic needs, job training, ESL, parenting classes and immigration services;

-- Collier Youth Services, Wickatunk ($2,500): To fund scholarships for Kateri Day Camp;

-- Mount Carmel Guild, Trenton ($1,000): Used for utility assistance;

-- New Jersey State Prison, Trenton ($500): To purchase Bibles, religious books, DVDs and CDs for religious instruction;

-- St. Vincent de Paul Society, St. Katharine Drexel Parish, Burlington ($500): To offset costs for food pantry, essentials and office supplies;

-- St. Vincent de Paul Society, Holy Eucharist Conference, Tabernacle ($500): To purchase gift cards to fund transportation for clients;

-- St. Vincent de Paul Society, St. Joseph Conference, Keyport ($800): To assist with the cost of sheltering homeless;

-- St. Vincent de Paul Society, Christ the King Conference, Long Branch ($500): To purchase grocery carts;

-- St. Francis Center, Brant Beach ($700): To purchase a refrigerator, freezer, two shelving units and two utility carts;

-- St. Crispin Society, St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Red Bank ($800): To purchase supplies for the “Learn to Sew” ministry.