Catholic Parish Outreach (CPO), the Triangle’s largest food pantry and a program of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Raleigh, anticipates serving 550 families in the two days leading up to Thanksgiving. With support from Catholic parishes, United Way, corporate donors and over 1,300 volunteers, CPO serves over 2,500,000 pounds of groceries to residents of Wake, Franklin and Johnston counties each year.
On Tuesday, November 22, 2011, the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge joined with volunteers on one of CPO’s busiest days. Serving as a runner, Bishop Burbidge loaded groceries into clients’ cars and offered prayer and thanksgiving.
“Yesterday we served 245 families and that was a record for us,” said Terry Foley, Director of CPO. “We are expecting to serve 300 families today and this is usually the biggest day of the year. This week, we expect to serve more than 750 families.”
Allen Tirado, a student at Franklin Academy has volunteered at CPO for the past two years on school breaks. “I really like working here,” said Tirado. “Being a runner is my favorite job because when you take food to the client’s cars, you get to know them a little better and you feel like you’re really helping them.”
“I am so grateful to all those who contribute so generously to Catholic Parish Outreach and to the many volunteers who serve here,” Bishop Burbidge said. “We can be assured God will use our generosity in miraculous ways.”
CPO has been serving record breaking number of families for the past three consecutive months. As a result of continued economic pressure, reduced government funding and donations, CPO is struggling to serve an average of 8,000 people per month. “I won’t be surprised if we have two more record breaking months serving 10,000 people in either December or November,” said Ms. Foley.
In addition to the food bank, Catholic Parish Outreach also provides a food stamp outreach program, clothing up to 4 years old and maternity clothing. To receive food or clothing, clients must receive a referral from a church or social service agency before coming for services.
Catholic Parish Outreach is open Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., but will be closed Thanksgiving weekend. Donations of food, clothing or financial assistance can be sent to: Catholic Parish Outreach; 2013 N. Raleigh Blvd.; Raleigh, NC 27604. To learn how to you can help, go to : http://www.cporaleigh.org or call (919)847-1466.
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Above: Volunteers at Catholic Parish Outreach serving hundreds of clients two days before Thanksgiving.
Above: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge taking food supplies to car of young mother being assisted by Catholic Parish Outreach.
Above: One of many volunteers assisting Thanksgiving week as CPO provides groceries to hundreds of families in Wake, Johnston and Franklin Counties.