Volunteers pack food for Cross Catholic Outreach at Our Lady of Peace School in Wheeling Feb. 29.
WHEELING—Knights of Columbus Carroll Council 504 in partnership with local parishes joined Cross Catholic Outreach to host a food packing event on Leap Day, Feb. 29, at Our Lady of Peace School in Wheeling.
An estimated 340 volunteers worked together to pack 80,000 meals. This is the fourth packing event facilitated by Cross Catholic sponsored by West Virginia Knights of Columbus.
Cross Catholic Outreach will ship the 64,000 meals to Catholic partners overseas; the 16,000 other meals will help the hungry in the local area—8,000 meals distributed to 12 KOC councils throughout the West Virginia for distribution to their local food pantries; and 8,000 meals donated to Catholic Charities West Virginia in Wheeling.
The event had 160 sponsors, more than $26,000 raised, and 340 volunteers. More than 100 of those volunteers were students representing youth groups from St. Michael’s, St. Vincent’s, Corpus Christi, Our Lady of Peace parishes in Wheeling and Troop 5 Boy Scouts.
Cross Catholic Outreach Senior Director Sandi Pino said, “Cross Catholic Outreach’s food-packing events like this in Wheeling take place in cities large and small across America. They provide a wonderful way for individuals within the community to be actively involved in a service that directly helps the poor and gives Catholic families a deep, personal awareness of our faith’s ‘preferential option for the poor.’ ”
Cross Catholic Outreach is an official Catholic nonprofit 501(c)(3) relief and development organization that since its founding in 2001 has given more than $1 billion in aid to help “the poorest of the poor” in more than three dozen developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and other parts of the world. Further information about food packing events can be found at https://crosscatholic.org/ campaign-youth-vs-hunger/.
Jerry McGlumphy, Knights of Columbus Leaps Hunger project chairman, said the Knights were motivated to become involved after past Carroll Council 504 Grand Knight and current West Virginia State Warden Brian Gordon presented the You(th) vs. Hunger Cross Catholic Outreach food packing program to his council.
“He explained that over the past two years that he attended three of these events in West Virginia, two in Kingwood and one in Morgantown,” McGlumphy said. “Brian felt that it was a worthy charitable cause for Carroll Council 504 to take on. His description of the event, which the food goes to the ‘hungriest of the hungry’, caused me to imagine for a moment that close to 1 billion folks, mostly children go to bed hungry every night! My wife and I were blessed to have raised four children. As a parent, I simply could not grasp that reality—that when their heads hit the pillow at night, they had empty tummies and were starving.”
While the Wheeling Knights will be considering a repeat of this event in the near future, McGlumphy said there are two more events scheduled this year with Beckley and Charleston Knights of Columbus councils.
“These events are life changing and life-saving,” he said.
An estimated 1 billion people go to bed hungry each night worldwide. In the poorest countries families sometimes go days without food and 16,000 children die every day from hunger related causes. The food packing event was a great opportunity for compassionate individuals to rally together to help fight hunger around the globe.