Catholic Diocese of Richmond

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Office > Social Ministries & Respect Life

March 20, 2020

COVID-19 and the Impact on the Poor and Vulnerable

The coronavirus has had an unprecedented effect on our global family.  In social ministry, we know that the population we serve is at a higher risk for illness. With the decline in economic activity, the working poor are at risk of losing vital income for food, utilities and rent and often do not have health insurance or are just one paycheck away from homelessness. This includes the elderly, disabled and those with underlying health issues on fixed or low incomes. Children who are food insecure and who depend on school lunches for a nutritious meal will still need these resources.

Social distancing (otherwise known as physical distancing) is being implemented globally to protect the most vulnerable by reducing the chance of exposure. Everyone is asked to give up “business as usual” and daily conveniences so that others will essentially live. Through kind, creative and thoughtful ways, we can walk together.  Social distancing is about caring for the other, and taken to heart, we live out the call to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Social Ministry Updates

As new measures are placed to keep the community safe, below are ways from parish social ministries throughout the Diocese who have revamped their outreach, adhering to all guidelines of social distancing by the CDC.:

  • Pre-packing food pantry bags and setting up drive-thrus for distribution
  • If your parish food pantry has closed, donating to other ministries or organizations that remain open and are in short supply because of a decrease in supply and donations
  • Providing financial assistance by doing intake via phone or online


We will continue to update this page with any new best practices as well as provide social ministry resources in response to COVID-19.  For more information including Bishop Knestout’s letter regarding the suspension of all public Masses, please visit the Diocesan web page at