Catholic center to hold food drive for Casa Maria

By Cheryl Fogle

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Catholic Newman Center will be harvesting food for the Casa Maria Catholic Worker House over the next two Saturdays.

The Golden Harvest food drive will be held Saturday, Nov. 11 and Saturday, Nov. 18. Flyers will be distributed the first Saturday telling people to leave food outside of their houses to be picked up the following week.

Maureen Meyers, Golden Harvest coordinator, said, "The flyers let people know we're coming so they will have their food ready." They will distribute the flyers between Stone Avenue and Alvernon Way, and Grant Road and 22nd Street.

Casa Maria serves over one thousand meals per day; Pettit said that 60 to 70 percent of the people he serves are families.

Pettit said each person is issued a bag containing two sandwiches, a piece of fruit and a cup of soup. He said families also can receive cans of corn or peas or a bag of rice.

Pettit said that he serves more people at the end of the month when their social security checks and food stamps run out. At the beginning of the month, thirty gallons of soup would normally last a whole day, but at the end of the month it only lasts an hour or two.

"We serve families where one person works, too," Pettit said. "We help them save some money so they can pay the electric bill, or buy shoes for their kids. Those guys who sell newspapers on the street corners eat here; around 10 a.m., a truck comes to take them to work," he said.

Meyers said that last year, Golden Harvest collected enough food to fill a small room from floor to ceiling. George Pettit, coordinator of Casa Maria, said, "They filled up milk crate after milk crate with canned food last year, and it lasted for weeks and weeks."

"We had to make several trips to Casa Maria because they didn't have enough space to store the food," Meyers said.

The food drive will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the Catholic Newman Center, 11615 E. Second St. For more information call 327-6662.

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