Parishes and Schools to Stock Area Food Banks in Honor of Pope Benedict XVI’s Visit

March 28, 2008

Parishes and schools across the Archdiocese of Washington are preparing to welcome Pope Benedict XVI by reaching out to the hungry in our area through the Hunger to Hope food drive.

The food drive will fill the pantries of the Capital Area Food Bank, the Southern Maryland Food Bank and the 60 food pantries at parishes in the archdiocese.

The food drive honors Pope Benedict XVI’s visit by sharing in his concern for the poor, said Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl. “In his name, we can give to food banks,” he said, to attest to “his concern for the poor and needy around the world.” During his visit, the pope will be presented with a list of the parishes and schools participating and the amount of food collected in his honor.

100,000 bags featuring the archdiocesan logo for the papal visit will be distributed to parishes and schools before April 5, which parishioners and students will fill with canned goods, juice, pastas and sauces, cereal, ready meals and dried fruits and nuts.

The bags will be collected by the two food banks on April 12 and 13 at locations throughout Washington, DC and suburban/southern Maryland. The archdiocese hopes to collect 200,000 food items.

The Capital Area Food Bank will distribute the food at no cost to their 700 partner agencies and organizations that feed the hungry in the Washington area. The Southern Maryland Food Bank, a program of Catholic Charities, will ensure similar distribution of the food collected across Charles, Calvert and St. Mary’s counties in Maryland.

The project is being coordinated by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington. “Each day Catholic Charities staff and volunteers share the gift of hope with those in need,” said Ed Orzechowski, president and CEO of Catholic Charities. “We are honored to coordinate the Hunger for Hope food drive, which is a natural extension of our social ministry.”

Susan Gibbs
Director of Communications
[email protected]