St Francis Q&A

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Hunger to Hope + "The Pope as Bishop"

With the arrival of the Holy Father in Washington today, the following is an article I found on about this past weekend’s food drive, “Hunger to Hope”. We had an enormous response at St Andrew’s (my guess is that it was about one ton of food)! Also, please click on today’s title to see the third part of our catechesis on the papacy, “The Pope as Bishop”.

While the theme of the Pope's trip is "Christ Our Hope," it looks like his visit is also motivating others to charity. The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. has reported that thousands of bags of food are being collected in honor of Pope Benedict XVI's visit.

Parishes and schools across the Archdiocese are bringing thousands of bags of food that they've collected to drop off sites in Washington, DC and Maryland on Sunday, April 13 as part of a Hunger to Hope Food Drive. Parishioners and students are filling 100,000 large paper bags with canned goods, juice, pastas and sauces, cereal, ready meals and dried fruits and nuts to fill area food banks and parish pantries. The bags will be brought to three drop off sites (between 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.) where they will be loaded onto trucks for distribution. The drop off sites include: Mount Calvary Church, 6700 Marlboro Pike, Forestville, MD (Prince George's County); McCarrick Center, 12247 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD (Montgomery County); Capital Area Food Bank, 645 Taylor Street, NE, Washington, DC.

The food 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. An April 8 news story in the Washington Post reported on how local food banks are trying to keep pace with the increasing need for groceries due to the economic downturn. Requests for food assistance in the past year are up 30 percent nationwide, the Post reported.

The food drive, coordinated by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, 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. All 140 parishes and 106 schools in the Archdiocese of Washington are participating in the food drive. The archdiocese hopes to collect at least 200,000 food items.

The Capital Area Food Bank will distribute the food at no cost to its 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.


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