Catholic Charities of Arlington seeks fresh fruit and vegetable donations ahead of Sunday's “Big Game”

February 10, 2023

Arlington, VA - Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington, through its St. Lucy Food Project, which provides food to underserved communities - is conducting a fresh fruits and vegetables food drive on Sunday, Feb. 12, at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Alexandria.

The goal is to collect 1,000 lbs. of fresh fruits and vegetables on “Big Game” Sunday and distribute them to at least three local food pantries. 

St. Lucy Food Project coordinators are asking for donations to be dropped off between 10 am - 2 pm on Sunday at Good Shepherd. They are specifically requesting donations of:

  • Fruits: apples, oranges and lemons
  • Vegetables: cabbage, carrots and potatoes


Food insecurity is an ongoing challenge. Fresh fruits and vegetables are even more scarce as prices have soared in recent years and their shelf lives are not conducive to food pantries. The price of fresh vegetables alone is up more than 9% from last year, and it's expected to grow. Inflation is a cause, but so, too, are natural disasters, decreased production and diseases affecting produce.

The issue is more pronounced in Northern Virginia. More than 7% of Arlington County residents, for example, are considered food insecure, according to a county report. Rural areas, such as Culpeper County, regularly experience upward of 9.5% food insecurity, according to a report by Feeding America.

“The price of produce has increased so much during the last year that, for many low-income families, these items are not within their already stretched budgets. These foods provide nutrition that help ward off disease and reduce stress, among many other healthful benefits,” said Vincent Cannava, St. Lucy Food Project Program Director. “Catholic Charities wants to ensure struggling individuals and families throughout our community have these delicious and healthy fresh foods.”

The food will be transported from Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Alexandria to the St. Lucy Food warehouse in Manassas on Sunday after the collection. The food will later be sorted and distributed to at least three food pantries in Northern Virginia.

  • Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Arlington will receive donations on Tuesday, Feb. 14. It will distribute the food to clients on Wednesday.
  • St. Joseph Table in Culpeper County will receive the donations on Wednesday and will distribute them that same afternoon as well as Saturday.
  • Holy Family Catholic Church in Woodbridge will receive donations on Tuesday and will distribute the donations on Wednesday.


In fiscal year 2022, Catholic Charities responded to more than 49,300 requests for food and distributed 1.7 million pounds, valued at $2.6 million.

For additional information, contact Mary Shaffrey, Director of Media Relations, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, at 703-841-2517 or


Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington serves the poor and vulnerable who live within the 21 counties and seven cities of the Diocese of Arlington, which is led by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge. Catholic Charities provides food for the hungry, emergency rental and utility assistance, free health care for adults, including prenatal care, adoption services, transformational housing for homeless men and women and families, mental health counseling, workforce development, and immigration and refugee services. Catholic Charities serves all, regardless of faith.