February is “Stock the Pantry” month for Catholic Charities, and the organization is encouraging the community to step up to make life easier for the households who depend on Catholic Charities for food.

Catholic Charities accepts donations of nonperishable food, cleaning products, personal hygiene items, diapers of all sizes, grocery store gift cards or cash donations at all its locations during regular business hours.

“No family should go hungry,” said Richelle Vible, Catholic Charities’ executive director. “The uncertainty of whether some federal supports, such as SNAP benefits, will soon expire because of the partial government shutdown puts a real strain on low-income households. Membership in our food programs continues to climb. Compounding that strain is the diminished inventory of food we usually receive through donations. Our neighbors need our support.”

Catholic Charities coordinates food cooperative programs at its Thrift Center in Wilmington, Casa San Francisco in Milton, and Seton Center in Princess Anne, Maryland. Area residents can apply for membership in the food cooperatives by making an appointment with a Basic Needs case manager. In New Castle County, call 655-9624, 4-1184; in Kent County, call 674-1600; in Sussex County, call 856-9578; and in Somerset County, Maryland, call 410-651-9608.

Casa San Francisco and Seton Center also operate emergency food pantries for those in crisis Call for pantry hours. Those in need must bring a photo identification card and information about the household income.

In addition to nonperishable food and grocery store gift cards, Catholic Charities will also accept monetary donations in order to purchase additional food to fill bags for the food distribution programs. To make an online monetary donation, visit ccwilm.org/donate.

Catholic Charities accepts donations at its locations from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Drop-off locations are: Main Office, 2601 W. Fourth St., Wilmington; Bayard House, 300 Bayard Ave., Wilmington; Marydale Retirement Village, 135 Jeandell Drive, Newark; Kent County Office, 2099 S. Dupont Highway, Dover; Sussex County Office, 406 S. Bedford St., Suite 9, Georgetown; Casa San Francisco, 127 Broad St., Milton; and Seton Center, 30632 Hampden Ave., Princess Anne, Maryland.

Casa San Francisco and Bayard House can accept donations 7 days a week. Call ahead before making a donation.

Suggested items for donation include nonperishable and shelf stable items. Catholic Charities needs canned goods like tuna, chicken, beef stew, corned beef hash, beans, soups, vegetables, fruit and spaghetti; boxes of pasta, macaroni and cheese, crackers, cereal, oatmeal and pancake mix; jars of peanut butter and jelly; juice, coffee, tea, hot cocoa mix and instant breakfasts; shelf-stable milk, either powdered or evaporated; baby food and cereal; and condiments like spreads, ketchup, mustard, relish, barbecue sauce, pickles and syrup.

For more, visit ccwilm.org.