Be the reason that we are able to feed our neighbors.
As the days get shorter and colder, we sense the excitement of the impending holiday season. It’s a time that represents reflection, gratefulness and giving back. The holidays are filled with traditions, which often involve a warm delicious meal.
But for those struggling with hunger or food insecurity, a warm holiday dinner can be unattainable.
Hunger and food insecurity are pervasive.
1 in 8
is food insecure.
experience food insecurity in D.C.
in D.C. lack access to a nutritious meal.
Catholic Charities is a leader in the fight against hunger.
Catholic Charities is on the front lines in the fight against hunger in the region. Last year alone, we provided more than 3.5 million meals to those in need and distributed more than 3 million pounds of food to local pantries. More than 87,700 packages of affordable, nutritious groceries were made available through our SHARE Food Network. The Southern Maryland Food Bank gave out more than 12,200 Snack Saks to children and homebound seniors.
This holiday season our virtual food drive will help combat the different forms of food insecurity in our community.
Southern Maryland Food Bank: Holiday Meals
For those struggling with food insecurity, providing groceries or a warm holiday dinner for their family can be very difficult. The Southern Maryland Food Bank, with your generosity, can provide one family with everything they need for a delicious meal this holiday season, including a ham.
The food bank distributes almost 1 million pounds of food a year and indirectly supports more than 8,000 families and individuals a month through food pantries and group homes. The food bank also operates the mobile Meals & Hope Food Truck, which fills food gaps by delivering hot, nutritious meals weekly to families in need. The Snack Sak program supports area public school children and low-income seniors. In the last year, Snack Saks were delivered to 12,254 school-age children and homebound seniors.
Cup of Joe & 83.33 Society
Provide a breakfast-to-go meal each morning for a month to one of the 1,500 homeless men and women who spend the night in one of our shelters. For as little as $2.75 a day, help to fill an empty stomach each morning through our Cup of Joe program. The to-go meal is often their only food option until the evening. Learn more about the 83.33 Society and become a recurring donor of this program.
Cup of Joe ensures a breakfast for those who might not otherwise have access to one. Volunteers pack to-go bags with shelf-stable breakfast items at group events or at private donor events coordinated through Catholic Charities. The breakfast bags are distributed to men and women at Catholic Charities’ homeless and transitional shelters. In the last year, 88,591 Cup of Joe bags of food were distributed to the homeless and hungry.
Spanish Catholic Center Food Pantry
A food pantry is among holistic services provided to immigrants from around the world by the Spanish Catholic Center. Located in Columbia Heights in Northwest D.C., the food pantry distributes packages of food and personal care items such as hand sanitizer and cloth face coverings each Wednesday morning. During the pandemic, the food pantry has served more than 600 families of four or larger during a three-hour distribution. People, many of whom lost their jobs in the pandemic, line up hours in advance to receive a healthy package of fresh produce and frozen protein items. No one is turned away.
KitchenWork, a catering enterprise and pilot culinary job-training program, is the resource behind the fresh, ready-to-eat meals given out at our large community food distributions and to those visiting our food pantries. KitchenWork also supplies our weekly St. Maria’s Meals with food items, along with boxed meals for Anchor Mental Health and Angel’s Watch shelter. Each week, the staff at KitchenWork prepares and packs 4,000 dinners at a kitchen facility in Hyattsville, using seasonal produce harvested at our Mona Center urban garden in Temple Hills, Md., and other sources of food.
SHARE Food Network
SHARE supplies Catholic Charities’ food programs with grocery boxes. As a social enterprise, it also helps anyone in the community save money on nutritious, healthy food by offering packages for sale at 50% less than retail. More than 87,000 packages of food were purchased from SHARE in the last year. Grocery assistance is important for those experiencing food insecurity, including returning citizens with limited resources who need stability during their period of transition.
Montgomery County Family Center
Each week, hundreds of families — many with young children — receive groceries at the Montgomery County Family Center to help sustain them during difficult times. In the past year alone, more than three times the amount of need was requested for fresh and shelf-stable foods, infant formula, diapers and emergency rental assistance critical to avoid eviction. Help us keep our pantry stocked, and help to keep families warm and dry under one roof.
Located at the Catholic Charities Center in Silver Spring and near Wheaton, the Montgomery County Family Center serves anyone living in the county who is in need. During the past year, the center provided food, diapers, financial assistance and other referrals to more than 18,400 people.
Looking for an opportunity to volunteer?
Spend a Saturday morning at SHARE, preparing food for distribution. Join the Spanish Catholic Center to help with its Wednesday food pantry distribution. Assist Montgomery County Family Center staff prepare and distribute food packages each Tuesday. Pass out food to those in need in Southern Maryland.