Monsignor John J. McSweeney retired on July 18, 2017 as pastor of St. Matthew parish. In gratitude for Monsignor McSweeney’s vision and support of the World Hunger Drive over it’s first 15 years, the World Hunger Drive was renamed the Monsignor McSweeney World Hunger Drive in his honor.  Watch the presentation at his last 10:45am Mass on July 16, 2017.

The Monsignor McSweeney World Hunger Drive is one of the largest in the country. Thousands of parishioners volunteer their time, talent and treasure to this annual parish service project.

Every July the World Hunger Drive begins with coupons from the Giving Trees of Hope. The trees are full of colorful coupons for various items. These items can be picked up at Costco, BJ’s or Sam’s, or you can give the monetary amount on the coupon. Monetary donations support education at the Tremesse School and other sustainability items such as live tilapia, live chickens and irrigation for crops.

Also in July, a Meal Packing Event is held at St. Matthews. The Meal Packing Event provides volunteers the opportunity to package meals made up of rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a flavoring mix of 21 essential vitamins and minerals.

The collected food, packaged meals, and supplies are shipped to Haiti, Jamaica and local charities in the greater Charlotte community. Containers being shipped are sealed on the St. Matthew Campus after packing and prior to shipping. These sealed containers are delivered to the Missionaries of the Poor with the seal unbroken for immediate distribution to the people.

The food feeds children at the orphanage and the elderly at the Senior Center. The Missionaries of the Poor also distribute food to families each week in the nearby villages.

In an effort to promote sustainability, land for a school, a chapel and crops were donated by a group of St. Matthew parishioners in partnership with Hands for Haiti. In addition to providing education and agricultural training, chickens, livestock, pigs, goats, seeds, a tilapia farm and irrigation system have also been acquired. The school administrator works with the children in the garden planting seeds, watering the plants and cultivating the soil. He is also working on an agriculture extension program to help local farmers improve their crop yields through crop selection and cultivating techniques. Another goal to promote sustainability is to increase the purchase of food from local vendors as opposed to shipping it from the United States. This can help the local farmers and the local economy.

To get involved or for more information contact worldhungerdrive@stmatthewcatholic.org.