The Arlington-based Catholic Charities St. Lucy Food Project received a donation of 35,500 pounds of food from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, delivered on a tractor trailer from Salt Lake City, Utah. The donation, which included items such as canned fruit and vegetables, flour, pasta, sauce, and beef stew, comes at a critical time as the St. Lucy Food Project works to respond to pantries experiencing an unprecedented number of requests from families seeking food assistance.
“Our mission is to help those who need assistance, to help them get over a hump. These days, during the pandemic, we also need help to reach this growing need,” said Art Bennett, president and CEO, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington. “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has offered their support to our efforts and given us a tremendous amount of food to distribute throughout our network. It is wonderful when we all work together to help those in need.”
The St. Lucy Food Project provides food to the community through its three Catholic Charities pantries— Loaves and Fishes in Front Royal, Christ House in Alexandria, and the Leesburg Regional Office in Leesburg—as well as some 60 rural and local pantries.
Since the onset of coronavirus, a spokesman for the food project has said, the project has experienced a significant increase in people requesting assistance. In March, St. Lucy had a record-breaking month, distributing 58,700 pounds of food to its three pantries as well as to many local partners. Typical high points for distribution hit about 42,000 pounds of food in a month. The project has also been able to support its standard distribution into the rural areas around Warren County and the Northern Neck.