RALEIGH – Volunteers gathered Tuesday, Nov. 21 at Catholic Parish Outreach to distribute food to clients. As the Thanksgiving holiday approached, this spirit of giving and community support radiated brightly as people received essential items before the holiday.
Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama served alongside volunteers. His presence and heartfelt words of gratitude uplifted the spirits of the dedicated volunteers who carted loads of vegetables, bread, fruit and other items to those waiting in their cars. Despite the cold day and rain, these volunteers remained undeterred in their mission to serve those in need.
Kelly Rappl, director of Catholic Parish Outreach Food Pantry, highlighted the meticulous planning required to meet the surge in demand.
"We've seen a more than 35% rise in the number of people we serve since the start of the year, projected to hit 40% by the year's end," Rappl explained. "It's evident during the holiday season how many of our neighbors are in need. It's crucial that everyone understands, 'Hunger does not take a holiday.'"
Mary Vance, a dedicated CPO volunteer for about 10 years, expressed her joy in serving.
"I find immense satisfaction in what we do for the community. It's crucial for people to donate and contribute because many are unaware of how many individuals we assist and how the number of those in need keeps growing,” she said.
This dedication and compassion exemplify the true spirit of Thanksgiving — a time when selflessness and kindness resonate, ensuring that those in need feel the warmth of community care and support.
As the holiday season unfolds, Catholic Parish Outreach continues to foster a community where compassion and generosity thrive. You can still contribute by donating food to the pantry or by donating toys for Christmas gifts, helping spread joy and support to those in need.
How to help
Visit the CPO website to learn more and donate.