• Trending Now in News & Politics
  • People
  • Books
News & Politics

Catholic Charities DC Warns of “Urgent Need” to Replenish Its Food Pantries

The local social service organization is feeding a growing number of newly unemployed residents

Coronavirus 2020

About Coronavirus 2020

Washingtonian is keeping you up to date on the coronavirus around DC.

Catholic Charities DC issued a call to action Friday, asking DMV residents for help with an “urgent need” to replenish their food pantries.

Recent layoffs at restaurants and other service-related businesses, which occurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, have led to sharp increases in the number of people seeking meals from Catholic Charities’s food assistance programs, says Scott Lewis, who oversees these programs. Says Lewis, “I’m getting calls from a lot of individuals and families saying, ‘Where can I get food? I really need food.’”

This increased need has put unexpected pressure on Catholic Charities’s budget, draining the organization’s resources quicker than anticipated. At the same time, the organization has been forced to send home most of its volunteers on account of coronavirus concerns. “We really couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers,” Lewis says. “But we’re finding ourselves doing the work—maybe not as well as we would have done—but we’re doing it without a lot of volunteers.”

In years past, locals could have helped out by participating in food drives or other activities. But on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, the best way to help Catholic Charities feed the hungry, Lewis says, is to contribute financially.

Donors can also visit the organization’s Amazon wish list to purchase food, cleaning supplies, or personal items that will be distributed to the needy.

“This week we are able to get this food out. We don’t know whether next week we are going to need to be in our homes or be ordered to be in our homes,” Lewis says. “So we are trying to do whatever we can at this moment.”

Don’t Miss Another Big Story—Get Our Weekend Newsletter

Our most popular stories of the week, sent every Saturday.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
Senior Writer

Luke Mullins is a senior writer at Washingtonian magazine focusing on the people and institutions that control the city’s levers of power. He has written about the Koch Brothers’ attempt to take over The Cato Institute, David Gregory’s ouster as moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, the collapse of Washington’s Metro system, and the conflict that split apart the founders of Politico.