On Friday, June 12, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington will distribute 500 boxes of groceries and 500 take-home meals in Gaithersburg, Maryland, to people impacted by the COVID-19 economic downturn.

The food distribution will be held at 11 a.m. at Lakeforest Mall, 701 Russell Ave., Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Catholic Charities will distribute grocery boxes with enough food to feed a family of four for a week, and take-home, family-sized meals of Salisbury steak, vegetables, roasted potatoes and brownies. The food will be given free to anyone who asks, and will be distributed in a drive-thru staffed by Catholic Charities staff and volunteers.

Catholic Charities has responded to the increased demand for food assistance by hosting large-scale distributions of grocery boxes and prepared meals throughout the Washington area. Friday’s giveaway in Gaithersburg is the second Catholic Charities distribution in the city and the sixth in Maryland since the start of the pandemic.

Since March and the onset of the self-isolation regulations set forth to slow the spread of COVID-19, Catholic Charities has provided more than 22,000 packages of food, the equivalent of 440,000 meals, across the Washington area. The agency has also distributed 18,000 ready-t0-eat meals. The total number of meals reflect Catholic Charities’ large distributions plus smaller food programs including pantries, and the outreach of the agency’s SHARE Food Network.

The agency has also greatly increased its food distributions at the Spanish Catholic Center in Washington, at the Catholic Charities Center in Silver Spring and at the Southern Maryland Food Bank in Waldorf to assist those facing hardships because of the economic impact created by the stay-at-home mandates, the shutdown of area businesses and the loss of jobs. 

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 its SHARE Food Network.

For people who would like to help, Catholic Charities has a special COVID-19 response page that lists its food pantries and its other services, at https://www.catholiccharitiesdc.org/covid19-resource-guide/.

Catholic Charities DC is the largest independent social services agency in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. As the charitable arm of the Archdiocese of Washington, Catholic Charities provides 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.