The shelves are pretty bare at the House of Mercy food pantry in Manassas.
Some people in Prince William County need a helping hand.
And the House of Mercy, a Catholic faith-based charity organization based in Manassas, has stepped in to try to fill that need for the community, but right now – they need a little help too.
According to the House of Mercy Executive Director Ann Cimini, the organization’s food pantry is running very low on essential items for those in need.
“Right now we need canned meats, because we’re out – which means we can’t create any [food] bags to distribute…we are out of peanut butter, and we’re out of diced tomatoes,” said Cimini.
It’s a very serious situation, as the organization services 168 families – or 650 people – on average every month, according to Cimini.
Cimini said there are several other items they’re running low on as well, including low sodium soups, pasta, pasta sauce, low sugar cereal, canned corn and green beans, low sugar canned fruits, and maseca.
“The first three months of every year are particularly hard for all non-profits, because people have given a lot during November and December,” said Cimini.
While they regularly serve around 650 people, for the holiday season, last month House of Mercy helped 204 families – or 799 people – said Cimini.
In order to receive aid, the House of Mercy does an intake and vetting process that allows families of two or more that make $2,000 or less per month to utilize their services, with proof of income and need, said Cimini.
And a large portion of these individuals are seniors and the working poor.
“About half of the people we serve are the working poor. So they’re people who work for minimum wage jobs, and it is impossible to survive working one minimum wage job [in the area]. We have a growing number of seniors who have discovered us, which we like a lot, because most seniors are living on $1,200 a month,” said Cimini.
Individuals in the program, as well as people that are interested in donating, can go to the House of Mercy location at 8170 Flannery Court in Manassas, where their food pantry is located.
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