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Deacon Charlie Cecil joins St. John Paul II parishioners distributing food to those in need.

Cars began filling the parking lot on a Saturday as early as 6 am. Many parents had their children with them. They patiently waited – not for a big sporting event or music concert – but for bags of food.

Around 10:30 am, a semi-truck from Harvesters arrived, filling cardboard bins with perishable foods including potatoes, berries, peppers, lettuce, watermelon and other fresh fruits and vegetables.The families in the cars continued to wait as Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas’ staff and volunteers spent the next two hours sorting the items and filling individual grocery bags with a variety of nutritious, fresh foods.

At 1 pm, cars began driving through the mobile distribution. Bags of food based on the family’s size, were loaded by volunteers into the car trunks. “It was heartbreaking to see the NEED for the food,” said Deacon Joe Allen, who volunteered alongside his fellow St. John Paul II parishioners.

Catholic Charities, in partnership with Harvesters, offers the mobile food distribution for Wyandotte County residents on the third Saturday of every month in the parking lot at Harmon High School in Kansas City, Kansas. Three hundred families drive through to get perishable items that are often too expensive for them to buy.

On-site volunteer help is crucial to the mobile food distribution’s success. It’s a great service project for families and large groups. Deacon Joe added that the ministry was an ideal activity for a parish, “It creates a bonding experience for members of a parish to work together performing a Corporal Work of Mercy.”

Catholic Charities also offers monthly mobile food distributions on the fourth Tuesday in the parking lot of its Olathe Emergency Assistance Center for Johnson County residents and on the second Saturday in the parking lot at the Lawrence First United Methodist Church for residents of Douglas County.

Find out more about volunteering for a mobile food distribution, on our Volunteer Page.

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