In August of 2021, civilians left Afghanistan following the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces. As a result, evacuees arrived in Lansing to resettle through the care of St. Vincent Catholic Charities. Through the power of partnerships, a hot meals program was created to make sure evacuees had a least one hot meal a day.
Greater Lansing Food Bank provided the hot meals program with culturally familiar foods while Cristo Rey Community Center offered use of their kitchen. More than 300 community volunteers came together to prepare and cook more 18,000 meals for our new neighbors.
“This has been a very special year where St. Vincent Catholic Charities provided safety and opportunity by welcoming almost 400 people from all over the world. We are grateful to this wonderful community and are looking forward to honoring an outstanding partner, Greater Lansing Food Bank, with a peace pole.” – Judi Harris, St. Vincent Catholic Charities’ Director of Refugee Services
In celebration of Refugee Awareness Week (June 20 – 26), St. Vincent Catholic Charities presented Greater Lansing Food Bank with a peace pole for their contribution in helping evacuees in greater Lansing area.
“Greater Lansing Food Bank is honored to receive a Peace Pole from St. Vincent Catholic Charities for our role in spearheading a partnership of organizations that provided meals for the newly-arriving Afghans. As we envision a hungry-free region, we are committed to working collaboratively to best serve the community.” – Michelle Lantz, CEO of Greater Lansing Food Bank
Every Peace Pole bears the message: May Peace Prevail on Earth in different languages. This year, STVCC chose the following languages to reflect on the Peace Pole: English, Arabic, Dari, and Pashto (two languages spoken in Afganistan), Swahili, Kirundi, Spanish and Ukrainian to recognize the suffering of families in war-torn countries.
Peace Pole Unveiling Ceremony Photos (June 23, 2022)
Peace Pole Unveiling Ceremony
Welcome by Veronika Parsamova, STVCC Outreach Coordinator
Ben Cabanaw, State Refugee Coordinator
Judi Harris, STVCC Director of Refugee Services
Durkhshan Sediqy, STVCC Case Manager Assistant
Joe Garcia, CEO of Cristo Rey Community Center
Michelle Lantz, CEO of Greater Lansing Food Bank