ELKINS - Today is Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of Lent - a 40 day-long preparation for Easter. Lent is a time of prayer and sacrifice, and with that in mind, members of the local Knights of Columbus 603 have come up with a way to help others.
The program 40 Cans For 40 Days offers help through donations of one canned food or non-perishable item to Catholic Charities for each of the season's 40 days.
Catholic Charities West Virginia, located at 103 Randolph Ave. in Elkins, is one of the busiest food banks in the area. Regional Director Cindy Hammer asks residents to help fill the shelves by participating in 40 Cans For 40 Days.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart
Members of the Knights of Columbus 603 ask folks to donate 40 canned goods or non-perishable items to Catholic Charities West Virginia for the 40 days of Lent, which begins today. Making room at the Catholic Charities West Virginia food pantry are Cindy Hammer, regional director, and Mandy Warner, AmeriCorps volunteer.
"The Lenten season, which started on Ash Wednesday, is 40 days long," Hammer said. "We are asking folks to contribute one can a day for each of those 40 days. Everyone's support would go a long way to helping fill our shelves, so we can continue to serve those in need."
Hammer said donations can be made directly to Catholic Charities West Virginia office, and donations do not have to be exactly 40 cans of food.
"We appreciate all help we receive and accept all donations of canned food and nonperishable items," Hammer said.
As part of 40 Cans For 40 Days, the local Knights of Columbus will receive $100 for every 500 pounds of food donated from the Supreme Council.
"The Knights of Columbus do so much to help the community," Hammer said. "So food donations not only help our food bank, but also help raise money that will be used in our community for youth projects."
Hammer said this is the second year for the project, and last year was very successful.
"We received more than 2,500 pounds of food, and the Knights of Columbus received $500 from the Supreme Council for youth projects," Hammer said.
Additional information is available by calling Catholic Charities West Virginia at 304-636-4875.