By GABRIELLA DRAGONE
PATERSON, NJ – On Wednesday, Mayor Andre Sayegh presented a humanitarian award to Mark Dinglasan, the CEO of CUMAC, for his service to the Paterson community. Through CUMAC, Dinglasan and his team fight hunger and its root causes through a holistic, trauma-informed approach that provides groceries and basic necessities to families and individuals in need.
“We’re here to honor a young man who has proven his resilience during the pandemic,” Sayegh said. “He is a very impressive young man, and he has never stopped the fight to combat hunger. He is a man on a mission, and his mission is to end hunger. He is a shining example of what a humanitarian looks like. I am proud to present a humanitarian award to a young man who demonstrates courage, commitment and compassion.”
Dinglasan graduated Magna Cum Laude from Monmouth University and was accepted into New York Law School. Shortly after starting law school in 2003, he became a lay mission worker, building homes in the slums of the Philippines and leading youth programs in the United States. He received his MBA from DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. With more than 19 years of experience in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors, Dinglasan has led teams in the areas of youth development, program management, sales, fundraising & strategic planning. Dinglasan is a marathon coach, youth mentor, and church volunteer in his spare time.
“When I started here in 2017 I knew that the goal was to make sure that everybody knew ending hunger had nothing to do with giving people food,” Dinglasan said. “I come here every day inspired because of the All Stars, the heroes that I work with. I’m honored to receive this proclamation today, because I work with heroes and our heroes believe that ending hunger has nothing to do with giving people food. It’s about reaching back and lifting up your community, and lifting up your team members, treating each other like human beings, and creating programs that make people feel safe. That is what we’re going to celebrate today.”
CUMAC, the largest anti-hunger organization in Passaic County, believes ending hunger is about wrapping supportive services around individuals and families so that they are able to get the resources they need to flourish. CUMAC hires from the community and has community members drive interventions and programs. The Organization’s programming takes into account the effects of childhood trauma on their team and clients and gives their clients the tools they need to build their community from within. Each year, CUMAC has a profound impact on the community they serve. In 2020, CUMAC rescued over one million pounds of food, served 38,392 clients, welcomed 2,141 new families, and served 35,939 families.