ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — The Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington has officially surpassed their goal to collect 100,000 pounds of food during their annual Fall Harvest Food Drive.

The organization raised 101,000 pounds of food for those in need this holiday season. More than 40 parishes, schools and catholic civic groups came together to support the effort.

The annual food drive saw an increase this year of families in need, due to emergency measures expiring put in place during the pandemic, as well as the increase in food prices.

“Many of our families are finding out that when they go to the grocery store, their dollars don’t stretch as far,” said Cathy Hassinger, Director of Community Services. “If they still have those reduced hours at work, or they still haven’t found employment, they don’t have that income to go out and purchase what they want for themselves or what they need for their families.”

The organization is still asking for non-perishable donations through December to meet the unprecedented need.

The food comes into the warehouse and is almost immediately sent to pantries to meet the unprecedented need. We thank those who have already given so generously and humbly ask families to consider donating food again or maybe for the first time,” said Hassinger.

Items needed include non-perishables such as “canned fruits and vegetables, boxed or bagged cereal, rice and pasta, pasta sauce, cooking oil, bread, non-refrigerated juice, peanut butter, and canned chicken or fish, such as tuna or salmon.”

Donations can be made to the St. Lucy Food Project warehouse, located at 8426-28 Kao Circle in Manassas. Learn more ways to donate food throughout the Diocese