Pack the Porches takes in 6,246 pounds of food, $21,321 in donated funds

Catholic Charities’ 13th annual Pack the Porches food and fund drive, benefiting Catholic Charities Emergency Services Food Shelf, received 6,246 pounds of food and $21,321 in donated funds during the six-hour event held March 17 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Coborn’s, a St. Cloud-based grocery retailer, matched all food and fund donations up to $10,000.

Sacred Heart Church in Sauk Rapids, pictured with Catholic Charities Executive Director Steve Pareja, dropped off two truckloads of food and over $2,300 for Catholic Charities Pack the Porches at Pioneer Place on Fifth.

Several parishes, schools and businesses across the St. Cloud area held food and fund drives to contribute to Pack the Porches leading up to the March 17 event. Some will continue collecting throughout the Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign, which ends April 9.

Curbside drop-off locations for the drive were located at Pioneer Place on Fifth in St. Cloud; St. Cloud Financial Credit Union in Sartell and St. Cloud Hyundai in Waite Park. Catholic Charities Emergency Services also received food donations, and funds were received online through Catholic Charities website at

“Rising inflation, increasing costs, and the discontinuation of Covid-era programs continue to create challenges and food insecurities right here in our communities,” said Steve Pareja, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud.

“In 2022, our Emergency Services Food Shelf distributed more than 1,700,000 pounds of food and we anticipate the need to increase this year. Catholic Charities remains grateful and humbled by the community’s continued support as families struggle to put food on their tables.  With your help, we can ensure that no family has to choose between food and other basic essentials,” he said.

Food and funds from the event support Catholic Charities Emergency Services Food Shelf, which serves the communities of Stearns, Benton, and Sherburne counties. Catholic Charities Emergency Services works to provide food, basic everyday essentials and financial assistance to those in need in our community.

Pictured above: Catholic Charities and St. Cloud Financial Credit Union employees brave the frigid temperatures to load up the mobile food shelf with donations. (Photos courtesy of Catholic Charities)

Author: The Central Minnesota Catholic

The Central Minnesota Catholic is the magazine for the Diocese of St. Cloud.

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