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Clinic offers food, flu shots

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A week before it officially opened its doors, Catholic Charities’ Mother of Mercy (MoM) Free Medical Clinic in Woodbridge hosted its first event to help members of the local community amid COVID-19 and the approaching winter.

On the church’s annual World Day of the Poor Nov. 15, Catholic Charities teamed up with parish and medical volunteers from the diocese to hold a free drive-thru food and winter coat distribution, and a park-and-receive flu-shot station.

Volunteers loaded cars with food boxes of nonperishable items such as peanut butter, tuna, pasta or vegetables, or perishable food with eggs, milk, cheese, cottage cheese and meatballs, for more than 100 families.

The 50 participants who preregistered for the winter coat distribution pulled up to find large plastic bags with coats selected for each member of their family waiting with their names attached. When another 150 people arrived who hadn’t registered ahead of time, volunteers selected winter coats, gloves, hats and scarves for their family members, too. 

The flu shot clinic was staffed by local medical volunteers. Following temperature checks and completing a medical questionnaire, nearly 60 uninsured men, women and children received their flu shots without having to get out of their vehicles.

"There are so many people, especially now in this time of COVID, that are not able to get a flu shot, or not able to get some food  — so being able to get food and coats and get a flu shot all in one place is so important," said Clinic Director Alexandra Luevano.

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge blessed the clinic and celebrated Mass in its chapel Nov. 23.

Snider is deputy director of diocesan communications.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020