Center of Compassion volunteers Julie Gregory, Executive Coordinator, and Karen Finnerty, Community Outreach Coordinator, discuss this complex of humanitarian activities that has been located in Dover Plains for the past eleven years. Founded by Sister Maureen of the Westchester’s Sisters of the Divine Compassion, The Center of Compassion runs a food bank, a weekly community lunch, a backpack program of food for school children, emergency meals for the home-bound, and a thrift store at 7 Market Street in Dover Plains. All the meals they provide are homemade by volunteers. The backpack program, one of their newer outreaches, provides about 50 to 80 children identified by the school system as in need with a Friday backpack filled with six well-balanced meals; the children return the empty backpack to the school on Monday. Mostly funded by local donors, The Center of Compassion also operated with a grant from the Regional Food Bank of the Hudson Valley.
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