Pottstown Cluster Benefits From Knights’ $2,500 Gift

Representatives of the Knights of Columbus and the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities gather outside the cluster warehouse Friday to transfer the Knights' donation

POTTSTOWN PA – For the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities, the borough’s Knights of Columbus have become knights in shining armor.

Cluster Executive Director Barbara Wilhelmy on Friday (March 2, 2012) said the Knights, a Roman Catholic fraternal organization, donated $2,500 to help re-stock the cluster’s seriously depleted pantry warehouse. It supplies food, clothing, community meals and emergency financial aid to hundreds of families in the greater Pottstown area.

“The money couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Allan Altschull, president of the  cluster Board of Directors. The contribution will “help build up our food reserves” for distribution to families in need, he noted, and also help the cluster compete during March and April for additional funding made available nationally by philanthropist Alan Shawn Feinstein.

For a 15th consecutive year, Feinstein has challenged food support programs across the country to raise awareness of hunger relief. He is donating $1 million to be divided among hunger-fighting agencies nationwide, and Altschull said the cluster can benefit from Feinstein’s gift by demonstrating local support. The Knights’ contribution does that, he said.

Grand Knight Nicholas Hiriak urged other groups to get involved with the cluster as well. It’s unacceptable, he said, “for organizations in these economically troubled times to sit on the sidelines while so many people are struggling with such basic needs as putting food on their tables each day. I challenge all other civic-minded organizations in this area to also find a way to lend a hand.”

“We are so very grateful that the Knights of Columbus have responded to our plight in such a grand way,” Wilhelmy said. “We have seen a tremendous increase in need in each of the last three years, and would not be able to continue to meet all the needs of the suffering members of this community without the caring hearts and generosity of organizations like the Knights.”