Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington was in Sterling on April 16 to bless Catholic Charities’ new Loudoun Regional Office and food pantry.
The center relocated from its longtime Leesburg location, which has two other pantries, to fill a food gap in the Sterling area. The office will offer not only food assistance but additional services like emergency rent and utility assistance, adoption services and legal services for immigrants and refugees.
“Saint Augustine said, ‘what those love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has the eye to see misery and wants. It has the ear to hear the sighs and support others. That is what love looks like,’” Burbidge said at the ribbon cutting and blessing. “And I’m confident, dear friends, because of Catholic Charities and the wonderful volunteers and staff and people who will serve in this facility, those who come through these doors will see what love looks like.”
Stephen Carattini, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington, was also on hand to mark the occasion.
The Loudoun Regional Office provides both perishable and non-perishable food to families Mondays through Thursdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Loudoun Regional Office is at 113 Executive Drive, Building 2, Suite 110 in Sterling. Pantry visits are by appointment, via email at [email protected], to maintain COVID-19 protocols.
The Sterling pantry is one of three Catholic Charities food pantries providing direct food assistance in the Diocese. Donations come from local parishes and the community at large in addition to contributions to Catholic Charities St. Lucy Food Project. Last year, the St. Lucy Food Project provided 1.3 million pounds of food to the three Catholic Charities pantries and 85 food distribution locations across the 21 counties and seven cities of the Diocese of Arlington
“Following its first two months of operation, I am pleased to witness this new food pantry quickly becoming an integral part of the Loudoun community, assisting families across the region at a critical time. Many families are suffering as a result of the ongoing economic impacts of the pandemic, particularly those who were already struggling,” Burbidge stated. “This new pantry is an extension of our unwavering commitment to Our Lord’s mandate that we serve those in most need. May God bless and multiply the work that takes place at the Loudoun Regional Office and deepen the faith of all who serve at, or are served through, this beautiful ministry.”
This article was updated April 20 at 4:03 p.m. to correct the spelling of a name.