As many families and individuals face difficult situations in light of the coronavirus outbreak and stay-at-home guidelines and orders, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington has seen an increase in food program needs from those to whom they provide assistance each year, as well as those who have lost their jobs and are facing food insecurity. 

To help meet this need of more people needing food assistance during the crisis, Catholic Charities will be holding a Virtual Food Drive beginning on Holy Thursday, April 9, and running through Holy Saturday on April 11.

“Your gift will support our essential food and meal programs and help to meet immediate hunger needs in our community,” Msgr. John Enzler, president and CEO of Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of Washington, wrote in his “Faith in Action” column for the Catholic Standard newspaper and website. “You can do that by making a financial donation directly to Catholic Charities.”

A statement announcing the food drive noted Jesus's act of washing the apostles' feet on the first Holy Thursday “reminds us of the humility of service."

“It is in acts of selfless giving that our community's growing need can be answered,” the statement said.  

Funds raised through the Virtual Drive will provide people with access to food at Catholic Charities’ programs in Washington, D.C., and Maryland, including: 

  • Cup of Joe breakfast snack bags, which are handed out to 1,500 people every day at our homeless shelters;
  • Food Pantries in three locations that provide communities of greatest need regular access to food;
  • SHARE Food Network, which assists thousands of community organizations and individuals in buying healthy groceries at a discount;
  • Southern Maryland Food Bank, which feeds thousands of individuals and families regularly through emergency food distribution to 30 community pantries, a food pantry and food truck of its own, and snack saks for school children and seniors
  • Saint Maria’s Meals, which serves hundreds of nutritious meals each week in the District and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

Together, these programs serve thousands of people in need each week. 

In addition, grocery gift cards in values up to $50 can be mailed to Catholic Charities, Attn: Development, 924 G Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001 or emailed to [email protected]

Catholic Charities is on the front lines of the fight against hunger in the region all year round. In 2019, the agency provided more than 2.5 million meals to those in need and distributed more than 1 million pounds of food to local pantries. The organization served 16,000 warm meals through the weekly St. Maria’s Meals weekly dinner program, and more than 34,000 people were able to purchase affordable, nutritious groceries through the SHARE Food Network.

For more information about the Holy Thursday Virtual Food Drive, or to donate, please visit catholiccharitiesdc.org/holy-week-virtual-drive.

In addition, grocery gift cards in values up to $50 can be mailed to Catholic Charities, Attn: Development, 924 G Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001 or emailed to [email protected].

About Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington

Catholic Charities DC is the largest independent social services agency in the metropolitan Washington area. As the charitable arm of the Archdiocese of Washington, Catholic Charities invests in communities by providing critical services to hundreds of thousands of people in need throughout the District of Columbia and Montgomery, Prince George’s, Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary’s Counties in Maryland. For more information, visit www.catholiccharitiesdc.org.