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Food donations to Catholic Charities have dropped 45 percent since the pandemic

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Despite the tremendous support from the community and parishes, according to the diocesan Catholic Charities St. Lucy Project, donations to parish food drives have dropped 45 percent compared to before the coronavirus pandemic. Yet the ongoing need for food assistance remains at the high levels seen at the onset of the pandemic.

“The number of families we are seeing who need food assistance increased rapidly during the pandemic, and we have not seen the need subside,” said Art Bennett, president and CEO of diocesan Catholic Charities. “We thank those who have given so generously over the last seven months, and now we urge anyone able to donate food or funds to purchase food to do so in an effort to meet this pressing need.”

The St. Lucy Food Project provides food to the communities through three Catholic Charities pantries: Loaves and Fishes in Front Royal, Christ House in Alexandria and the Leesburg Regional Office, as well as some 57 parish, interfaith, community and government pantries within the 21 counties and seven cities that make up the diocese. Before being distributed, much of that food is stored at the Manassas warehouse. 

Since March, the St. Lucy Food Project has distributed 935,464 pounds of food to more than 14,500 people throughout the diocese. Catholic Charities partnered with 47 diocesan parishes to host No Contact Friday Food Drop Offs or parish food drives during weekend Masses. Still, the need is great. 

“The reality we are facing is that our warehouse is nearly empty,” said Vincent Cannava, program director for St. Lucy Food Project. “Food is going out as fast as it is coming in. We ask everyone who is able to help to do so. We do not anticipate the need for food decreasing anytime soon.”

Find out more

For more information on how to donate food, go here.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020