Nutritional Development Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia received a tractor trailer load of over 5,000 pounds of pasta May 12 from Opera Wine Imports in conjunction with the Consulate General of Italy in Philadelphia.

The gift is in recognition of Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia this Sept. 26-27 and his call to serve the poor.

The 12 varieties of pasta in one-pound packages will be distributed to local emergency food cupboards, soup kitchens and residential facilities of Catholic Social Services.

In addition, the pasta will be shared with Aid for Friends, the local agency that serves the homebound elderly with meals and friendly visits. AFF volunteers cook up healthy meals in the commercial kitchen at AFF’s facility on Townsend Road, Northeast Philadelphia.

“We’re grateful to Opera Wine Imports for their commitment to the message of Pope Francis to feed the hungry,” said Lorraine Knight, executive director of Nutritional Development Services. “Their generous gift will feeds thousands of people in our area.”