ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — With many in need due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington has helped more than 7,000 people by fighting food insecurity.

Diane Reed, a client and former Volunteer for the Diocese said, “Until I get my financial situation under control, and can pay everything off, then I’m still going to be taking advantage of the food pantry.”

Reed said she has been getting her food from the Catholic Charities because she said she’s at higher risk getting the virus. She also said with the many bills she has coming in, this saves her some money.

“I ran into a lot of extremely expensive house things that had to be fixed. I was trying to pay that off and I still am, so I thought well maybe if I can get some help here I can put that money towards my bill,” said Reed.

According to Diocese officials thus far they have provided more than $1 million in food and emergency services such as rental and utility assistance. Art Bennet, Catholic Charities President and CEO said the St.Lucy Food Project has been a tremendous help during this critical time.

“There are many families who never would have imagined, that they would need to get food from Catholic Charities. These are families more likely in the middle class or even upper middle class that have lost their jobs and think to themselves, how do I feed myself and my kids?” said Bennet.

Officials said since March there have been over 20,000 visits to the Catholic Charities pantries.

“There’s still a lot to do, fundraising can be very difficult, resources can also be difficult as unemployment rises so were not being complacent we’re just trying to be grateful for what we’ve been able to do and God willing keep doing it” said Bennet.