During the week of January 25 through February 1, the Christ Church Youth will launch a drive to tackle hunger and poverty issues in our own community as part of the SOUPer Bowl of Caring. They are participating with youth across the nation working to fight hunger and poverty around the time of the Big Game on Sunday, February 1.

In the week leading up to the game, Christ Church Youth are taking a collection of full-size toiletry items (shampoo, conditioner, bath soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant) and/or monetary donations. The goal is to collect 1,000 items during the drive. They are giving 100% of their donations directly to the Christ Church Lazarus Ministry Food Pantry.

Christ Church is working to impact hunger in the community throughout the year. Its Lazarus Food Pantry is open to Alexandrians in need one morning each week. Toiletry items were chosen as the focus for the drive this year because these items are necessities but are an expensive part of a family grocery budget. These items are not available from many other charitable sources.

Donated items may be dropped off at the entrance to the Christ Church Memorial Parish House building at 118 North Washington Street in Old Town from 8:45 to 9:45 a.m. on Sunday February 1.

Why no soup for SOUPer Bowl of Caring?

You might be wondering...why isn’t Christ Church collecting food for the SOUPer Bowl of Caring? For the drive this year, we decided to focus on items that are highly requested by our guests, are important in daily life, can be too costly for the needy to purchase, and are rarely offered by any community service providers. We’re referring to toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste, etc. These items represent the needs of the whole person...and our providing them sends the message that we value the dignity of our Lazarus guests. In addition, it can free up money to spend on food.

Does the food pantry still need the food items parishioners donate on a regular basis? Yes, the difference is in receiving large amounts of food during a major drive, storage and expiration dates become an issue, whereas weekly donations are more manageable. We have limited storage at Christ Church, so the inventory size has to be well controlled, organized, and strategic.

What is still needed for Lazarus Food Pantry on a regular basis? In Parish Life each month we highlight what we need for that month. In particular food we can’t normally get at the Capital Area Food Bank, like canned meat, which is also very expensive, is the most desired donated food.