Valley Voices

We can conquer poverty in Fresno

Valley farmers generously donate fresh fruits and vegetables to Catholic Charities.
Valley farmers generously donate fresh fruits and vegetables to Catholic Charities. Catholic Charities

The struggle against poverty in the United States has been an ongoing battle for as long as anyone can remember, and with this year’s election, it has definitely been a hot topic with many proposed “solutions.”

But what if you could be part of the solution and contribute to your hometown’s fight against poverty? Catholic Charities invites you to be a part of the action and not just the debate.

Catholic Charities, a community benefit organization, is located between the Tower District and downtown Fresno, serving the needs of those in crisis. We are the first responders helping the community with food, clothing and other basic necessities of life regardless of race, ethnicity and religion.

Catholic Charities’ food pantry is open Monday through Friday and feeds more than 100 families in Fresno per day thanks to our community partners and generous farmers who continue to donate produce and other nutritional foods despite the ongoing drought in the Valley.

Catholic Charities’ food pantry also partners with Community Food Bank to host a Healthy Neighborhood Market every fourth Thursday of the month. At this market, over 1,500 individuals have the opportunity to take home as much healthy and nutritious produce as they need to provide nutritious meals for their families.

Catholic Charities is unique because we go beyond providing food and clothing. We offer a representative payee program that aids veterans and other individuals who are in need of fiscal management; a senior companion program that allows low-income seniors to interact and provide company and comfort to one another; and our newest addition, an education center that offers office skills training and GED courses.

Many class graduates obtain and retain jobs. These programs allow our clients opportunities to earn confidence that allows them to become self-sufficient, as individuals and a community as a whole.

However, we need the support of the Fresno community for this life-support system to continue to flourish as it does. We are proud that 90 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to services and programs provided at Catholic Charities.

If you are a thrift-store shopper, we have a hidden gem. All proceeds made at the thrift store go back to sustaining Catholic Charities programs. Food, clothing and monetary donations are always appreciated to help make a difference in someone’s life. Please consider Catholic Charities.

Catholic Charities accepts gently used furniture, working appliances and other treasures no longer needed.

Making a difference in the world starts with making a difference in your own backyard.

The next Healthy Neighborhood Market is Thursday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., in the Catholic Charities parking lot at 149 N. Fulton St. Grab a friend, consider volunteering and see what we are doing! For more information, please call 559-237-0851 or go to our website at

You can also find us on Guide Star, Charity Navigator as well as follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Kelly Lilles is the executive director of Catholic Charities for Fresno, Bakersfield and Merced.