Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Wilmington again asks all its communities to Stock the Pantry by contributing nonperishable food goods for households struggling to put food on their tables. The food drive will continue until the end of June. Donors can drop off food and grocery store gift cards at Catholic Charities locations from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday. Casa San Francisco and Bayard House can accept donations 7 days a week; call ahead before making a donation.
“This month, families shift their focus to summer vacations and enjoying the warm weather. However, hunger doesn’t take a vacation,” said Richelle A. Vible, Catholic Charities executive director. “One in five residents in our diocese doesn’t have a secure source of food and lives day-to-day having to choose between making a rent, mortgage or utility payment or buying food. Families should not have to make those choices. The donations of food that we receive from our neighbors help us meet the demand we see every day.”
Catholic Charities coordinates food cooperative programs at the Thrift Center in Wilmington, the Kent County office in Dover, Casa San Francisco in Milton, and Seton Center in Princess Anne, Md. Residents can apply for membership in the cooperative programs by contacting the location closest to them: Thrift Center at 302-764-2717, Dover at 302-674-1600, Casa San Francisco at 302-684-8694, or Seton Center at 410-651-9608. For those in crisis in need of food, Casa and Seton Center operate emergency food pantries. Currently, Catholic Charities serves over 3,000 households each year through all its food assistance programs.
In addition to nonperishable food and grocery store gift cards, Catholic Charities will also accept monetary donations in order to purchase additional food to fill bags for the food distribution programs. Each distribution is valued at $50. To make an online monetary donation, go to www.cdow.org/charities and designate as Food Assistance.
Suggested donations include nonperishable and shelf-stable items. Catholic Charities needs the following items:
• Canned meats [chicken, tuna, salmon], vegetables and fruit
• Canned meals [soup, chili, stew, corned beef hash]
• Dried and canned beans
• Boxes of pasta, macaroni and cheese, crackers, cereal, oatmeal and pancake mix
• Jars of peanut butter and jelly
• Juices, coffee, tea, hot cocoa mix, instant breakfasts
• Shelf-stable milk - canned, dry, evaporated, or UHT fluid milk in aseptic containers
• Baby food and cereal
• Condiments like spreads, ketchup, mustard, relish, barbecue sauce, pickles and syrup
• Cleaning products
• Diapers of all sizes, including adult
• Personal hygiene items.