Six area churches: All Saints, Bridgeport; Immaculate Conception, Fairmont; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Stonewood; St. Augustine, Grafton; St. Luke, Morgantown; and St. Mary, Morgantown; are joining forces with Catholic Charities WV to raise funds and awareness about the crisis of food insecurity. On January 27, 2019, at 12:30, Blizzard Blessing Bags will be held at Peace Hall at St. Mary Parish, 3334B University Ave, Morgantown, WV 26505. All ages are welcome. Attendees will be compiling “blizzard bags” to distribute to elderly and disabled people who are unable to leave their homes easily due to snow, ice, or mobility issues.
According to Map the Meal Gap 2018, a Feeding America report, 14.6% of West Virginians are food insecure—1 in 7 people. That means 267,280 people living in WV may not know where their next meal will come from.
Food insecurity is defined by the United States Department of Agriculture as a lack of access, at some times during the year, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. Often there is limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods because the household has too little money or other resources for food. In addition, food insecurity may reflect a household’s need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing, utility, or medical bills, and purchasing enough food. Our neighbors who are elderly or disabled are more vulnerable to the risks of food insecurity.
And that’s where the Blizzard Blessing Bags event comes in. “We plan to pack 250 bags with non-perishable items that recipients can eat when needed throughout the winter season,” said Chris Sharps, chair of the Regional Advisory Council. The Blizzard Bags will be distributed to clients in Harrison, Marion, Monongalia, and Taylor counties.
“We are hoping that this inaugural event will help families and individuals to engage in the mission of Catholic Charities WV in a deep and meaningful way,” said Kate Kosydar, Parish Social Ministry Coordinator. “The Northern region advisory council is a terrific group of volunteers that is driving this mission-based fundraiser,” she said.
Catholic Charities is seeking sponsorships for this event. All money raised, whether from businesses or individuals, will benefit the Northern Region of CCWVa, which encompasses 17 WV counties. Patti Phillips-Best, Chief Advancement Officer, said of the event, “Our goal is to warm the hearts and stomachs of the clients, create new relationships with other organizations, help children and families empathize, and raise resources to support our services in the region.”
At the event, Amy Jo Hutchinson, Northern Regional Organizer for Our Children, Our Future, will be sharing information about food insecurity and its relationship to poverty. Her interactive presentation will challenge attendees to empathize with and understand the struggles of our neighbors who are hungry.
Help to ease the struggle with hunger for our neighbors by attending Blizzard Blessing Bags on January 27th at St. Mary’s Peace Hall, or by donating to the cause. Catholic Charities WV is collecting non-perishable single-serve items for the blizzard bags, as well as monetary donations. For more information and to register, visit https://catholiccharitieswv.org/blog/blizzard-blessing-bags-2019/, or contact Beth Collins, Northern Regional Director, at 304-830-0390 or firstname.lastname@example.org.