Each year, Catholic Charities helps feed hundreds of people with their Christmas basket giveaway and food pantry.
Wheeling Central Catholic High School took the lead on a project that helps bring in thousands of pounds of nonperishable food items.
The students, along with help from other schools and organizations, deliver bags around town for people to put food donations in, and then they go back out a week later and collect them.
Catholic Charities Northern Regional Director Beth Collins says the donations are especially helpful during the winter, but are used year-round.
“We also use this food throughout the entire year, and it really helps to sustain us. We do a bi-weekly food pantry that serves anywhere from 400 to 500 families a month, so this is really really important to us,” said Collins.
On Saturday, volunteers from Wheeling Central, Our Lady of Peace, St. Vincent’s, Grace Presbyterian, Wheeling Jesuit, Relevant Worship Center, the Boy Scouts, and more brought the 20,000 pounds of food into Catholic Charities and sorted it.
You may be surprised that high school students are willing to give up their Saturday to volunteer, but they say it is something they look forward to.
“I think it’s nice that the whole community can get together. When we passed out our bags for school, the entire school got involved in it. We all just took a day to pass out the bags for the community. It’s nice that everyone can get together here for the community and just help the whole area,” said Wheeling Central student Patrick Ernest.
Their work has also had a positive influence on younger students.
“We’re helping others, and God put us on this earth to help each other and get up to Heaven,” said seventh grade student Patrick.
Catholic Charities is always accepting donations for the food pantry. Just call them at 304-232-7157 for more information.