Jacksonville Catholic Charity Helps 500 Families Enjoy a Brighter Christmas – Action News Jax

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla .– Hunger doesn’t take a vacation.

In fact, demand at local pantries is only increasing as families gather this holiday season and schools are on hiatus.

The Catholic Charities Food Pantry at St. Pius V Catholic Church helps at least 500 families in time for Christmas.

Stacie Tillman is a local grandmother of three from Sherwood Forest.

She’s already bought food from the Catholic charities pantry, but on Wednesday she also received a heartwarming surprise: Christmas presents for her family.

Action News Jax watched as the volunteers pack bags of toys for Mom and Dad to put under the Christmas tree.

“It means a blessing to me from God,” Tillman said.

Each family also brings home a delicious holiday meal for a brighter Christmas.

“I can’t wait to see the smoked turkey,” Tillman said with a laugh.

Some families lined up at 5:30 am Volunteers from the association load cars with 80 pounds of food to help feed these families in need.

Nicola Barnack, the director of development with Catholic Charities, tells us the need has only increased.

The nonprofit said there had been a 45% increase in the total number of people in its pantry alone.

“More and more of our case workers have asked, you know, if they add one more client to our client list, we’re able to predict that,” Barnack said.

For grandmothers like Tillman who struggle to feed their families, the hard work of the volunteers here does not go unnoticed.

“I thank God for Catholic charities. I thank God for the volunteers. I thank God for the help, ”Tillman said.

Catholic Charities helps families all year round, not just during the holidays. The association said it also needed more volunteers.

For more information on how you can help you can click HERE.

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