Be the Reason that Our Hungry Neighbors are Fed
Many people have struggled to meet their basic needs during the pandemic, and no need has been as great as the need for food.
Food insecurity increased significantly when COVID-19 struck. Now, more than 1-1/2 years later, food insecurity is far from a return to the levels seen before the pandemic.
Employment continues to trend upward, and federal aid programs are helping families with children. But two-thirds of those who are food insecure in the D.C. area are employed and still not earning enough to feed their households. The cost of food has gone up substantially and is taking a larger share of families’ budgets.
Catholic Charities Leads 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 5.4 million meals to those in need — a more than 50 percent increase over the previous year.
From community food distributions to St. Maria’s Meals, Catholic Charities combats hunger and food insecurity with initiatives that reach people in various circumstances where they live.
Regular distributions provide those living in poverty hot meals, bags of emergency sustenance, snack bags and ready-to-eat family-style meals. Our food pantries are a dependable source of nutritious staples in D.C. and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.
The numbers alone are compelling.
- 37,687 pre-made meals and 35,920 food packages were given out in COVID community distributions last year.
- The SHARE Food Network provided 20-pound grocery packages that included protein items to 37,308 people across the Archdiocese of Washington.
- 3,200 people, many with young children, were assisted at the Spanish Catholic Center Food Pantry in Northwest D.C.
- 8,847 people were served by the food pantry at the Montgomery County Family Center.
- The Southern Maryland Food Bank distributed 860,181 pounds of food — the equivalent of 716,818 meals — to people in need in Charles, Calvert and St. Mary’s counties.
But just as compelling are the stories behind the numbers — the working father who needs a little help to feed his family, the retiree without access to transportation or funds for weekly groceries, the school child for whom a backpack of food means she will have breakfast and lunch during the weekend.
Help feed your hungry neighbors this holiday season
The Virtual Food Drive helps ensure our food programs continue for another holiday season and the winter that follows. Your gift will help meet our greatest food assistance need.
Give the gift of a meal.
Give the gift of time
This holiday season, volunteer with a Catholic Charities’ food program.
Spend a morning at the SHARE Food Network, preparing food for distribution. Organize food for distribution at a community giveaway. Pack “Cup of Joe” breakfast meals with friends or co-workers. Or serve a hot meal at St. Maria’s Meals.