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Catholic Charities launches COVID-19 helpline

BUFFALO — To more quickly connect Western New Yorkers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to the crucial services they need right now, Catholic Charities of Buffalo has announced the launch of a dedicated COVID-19 helpline.

By calling 716-218-1419 between the hours of 8:45 a.m. and 4:45 p.m., one can reach a Catholic Charities staff member about mental health and substance abuse counseling, make arrangements to obtain food from one of the organization’s nine food pantries, or seek assistance with housing, utilities or other related basic living needs.

“Many of our neighbors are struggling to make ends meet or facing challenges impacting their health and well-being as the coronavirus pandemic continues,” said Deacon Steve Schumer, president & CEO, Catholic Charities. “Being able to put food on the table and obtain basic emergency assistance and mental health counseling are vital during this time. Catholic Charities is doing everything we possibly can to provide a path to hope and we believe this central phone number offers added support.”

Over the past five weeks, Catholic Charities provided services more than 25,500 times to more than 20,400 individuals and families in need through all of its programs, including food pantries, basic emergency assistance, mental health and substance use counseling, domestic violence programs and WIC. A total of 18% more people turned to the food pantries for help, and WIC is seeing a 25% increase in services provided, during this time over last year. Services continue to operate to aid the physical and mental well-being of neighbors in need.

Additional information about Catholic Charities’ services can be found at ccwny.org.

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