ALEXANDRIA, VA — As the uncertainty around COVID-19 continues, the demand for Rising Hope’s services grows daily. More families and neighbors need help and safety through this tumultuous time, yet food, volunteers, and donations are declining.
“We need your support now more than ever before. We are balancing the need to keep the staff safe and socially distanced with helping those in desperate need,” said Pastor Keary Kincannon.
More than 300 families depend on Rising Hope’s food pantry each week – that’s more than 200,000 meals provided each year. The church receives food donations from retail stores, area food banks, and organizational food drives. As people continue to buy groceries in larger quantities, these donations have dramatically declined and some grocers are suspending their donations. Other area food banks also are seeing comparable declines.
“Many families depend on our food pantry because their jobs do not pay enough to feed their families. With jobs in jeopardy and potential lay-offs and furloughs on the horizon, the demand will only increase. This hits low-wage, hourly workers the most, and many times they have no additional resources,” Kincannon added. “We will continue to distribute food as long as we are able. We are pre-bagging groceries and preparing hot lunches for people to pick up.”
Rising Hope also runs a Hypothermia Shelter so that area homeless have a place to sleep during the cold months. Changes have been made and additional rooms opened to ensure people can sleep more than six feet from each other. This creates a need for more volunteers and cleaning staff.
“This is the time for us to all come together and help our neighbors,” Keary said. “Any help you can provide is so appreciated and needed. Let’s help the most vulnerable among us.”
Rising Hope Needs:
- Food pantry donations (dried beans, canned food, other non-perishables)
- Paper bags to pre-bag groceries
- Volunteers to bag food (You will not come into contact with those coming for food).
- Volunteers to deliver food to shut ins. (You can leave at their door)
- Monetary donations. (Financial donations provide the most flexibility to meet increasing demands and helps to offset the decline we anticipate from current donors who have their own increased financial demands.)
Contact: Jodi Omear