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Catholic Parish Outreach Feeds Hundreds for Thanksgiving

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Catholic Parish Outreach (CPO) Food Pantry, a program of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Raleigh, anticipates providing a week’s worth of groceries to close to 2,500 people in the 3 days leading up to Thanksgiving.  With support from the Catholic parishes, United Way, generous donors and a network of over 1,400 volunteers, Catholic Parish Outreach yearly provides emergency food assistance to over 40,000 people living in Wake County.

On Wednesday, November 24, the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge volunteered two hours of service at CPO. Terry Foley, Director of CPO, said, “We are thrilled to have the Bishop with us today. Yesterday we set a record, giving a week’s worth of groceries to 211 families.” In the month of October, Ms. Foley said, CPO fed 8018 people.

The thirty-eight volunteers on Wednesday included adults and youth from several parishes. Austin Faur is high school student from St. Joseph’s parish, volunteering for his second time. “It’s a great thing to do,” he said. “You actually have contact with the people you’re serving, so it’s a personal experience.”

Bishop Burbidge and the volunteers began the day of service with a prayer. On this day the Bishop served as a “runner,” loading the groceries assembled by other volunteers into the clients’ vehicles. “It’s inspiring to see so many volunteers helping those in need,” the Bishop said. “I hope those who read about this wonderful work will consider volunteering here. Especially at this time of year, you can see on the faces of so many people what a difference Catholic Parish Outreach makes in their lives.”

Catholic Parish Outreach, the largest food pantry in eastern North Carolina, provides clients with a balanced diet of meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, breads and desserts, as well as potatoes, rice, pasta, beans and canned fruits and vegetables.  Over half of the food distributed comes from CPO’s partners: the Interfaith Food Shuttle and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern N.C.  Clients can also receive clothing for children up to the age of 4 years.  To receive food or clothing, clients must receive a referral from a church or social service agency before coming for food. 

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 volunteer, please call (919)847-1466.

To learn more go to CPO’s website at: http://www.cporaleigh.org

View comments of Catholic Parish Outreach Director Terry Foley.

View comments of student volunteers Austin Faur, Katlyn Sheperd and Justin Cyrus

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge beginning the day with prayer for the staff and volunteers of Catholic Parish Outreach.

Part of the food supplies donated by parishes and paid for by donations to CPO.

Bishop Burbidge and student volunteer loading groceries in the car of a client family.

Volunteers unloading boxes of food and bagging them for CPO clients.