McLean parish packs meals for needy families

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For their inaugural Feed a Family event March 13, St. Luke Church in McLean set a modest goal - feed 250 families. They exceeded their goal.

The 100 St. Luke parishioners - mostly families - came out on a dreary Sunday afternoon to support the nutritional needs of other families in the diocese.

The group worked together to pack cans of soup and bags of penne pasta into plastic storage bags to be delivered to the St. Lucy Project warehouse in Manassas.

Parents brought their children to set an example of helping the less fortunate.

Parishioner Kevin Dent brought his daughters to show them the power of a community working together.

"I wanted to get my kids focused (on helping others)," he said.

The same went for parishioner Laura Mattis, who brought her three children - Brooke, Naomi and George.

"I came to help other people in need," said Naomi.

Father David L. Martin, pastor, called the turnout "a blessing." He said that it was a fitting event for Lent, and he hopes it continues throughout the year.

After about two hours of work, the final tally was announced. More than 1,800 food packets were created, enough meals to feed about 450 families.

After the food packing was finished, the children wrote letters to Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock and Democratic Sen. Tim Kane of Virginia telling them that they are learning about hunger and that they want laws enacted that support feeding the needy.

Sally O'Dwyer, Catholic Charities Director of Volunteers, said that the number of children at the event was heartening.

"Even if you're a kid, you can make a difference," said O'Dwyer.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016