Knights of Columbus Bishop Rice Council #2946 in Essex recently made a generous donation to two area food shelves: the Essex-Jericho Food Shelf and “Aunt Dot’s Place” Food Shelf.

Each organization received $4,000 to help feed local persons in need.

Andrea Francalangia, a shift leader and co-founder of Aunt Dot’s Place, said the Knights’ donation will allow the organization to provide more food to families and supplement donations of things like meat. “We are also giving more eggs and looking at other ways to help support families,” she said. “We were very fortunate to receive this donation from the Knights of Columbus.”

According to Len Noel, immediate past grand knight for the Bishop Rice Council and a trustee, the first and most important principle of the fraternal organization is charity. “This council has donated thousands of dollars over its long history but never an amount this large at one time,” he said. “The world is going through something that has not been seen in over 100 years, and so some of the members proposed we do something that would really make a difference. Some of our members have been involved with both of these organizations so it seemed natural to support something close to home.”

The Knights raise funds through dues and fund-raising events. “Normally the funds get distributed in $100 to $500 amounts to allow more to benefit from them, but these [pandemic] times call for a bigger response,” Noel said.

“The Knights … made this donation to show their concern for our brothers and sisters who are in need during this time of pandemic,” commented Edmundite Father Charles Ranges, pastor of the Essex Catholic Community.