The Catholic Charities Annual Pig Pickin’ returned to an in-person format this year on Saturday, May 21st, 2022, after being held as virtual events in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19. The event was adapted to a drive-thru event due to continued concerns around the pandemic and raised over $20,000 with over 200 guests enjoying a delicious meal of pulled pork, coleslaw, hush puppies, and baked beans. 

Former CPO director and occasional volunteer, Terry Foley, came out to support the event and described it as a success, saying “Everyone we’ve talked to has been thrilled about being able to help the food pantry, and we have the same amount, if not more sponsors than previous years.”  

Fellow volunteer Amy Brien noted that the absence of the in-person Pig Pickin’ in recent years had been felt by many in the community. However, the return of the event brought back many familiar faces. “The last few years, I think people were disappointed. A lot of the people in the line are either volunteers, or have been here before.”  

Program Director Kelly Rappl explained that daily CPO operations during COVID-19 helped lead to the success of the event. “The drive-thru model was remarkably similar to the process we have been using to serve our clients over the last two years, so our supporters got to “Drive in their Path” and “Pig out to end Hunger!” As always, we donated the leftover food to Oak City Cares for Sunday night dinner. It was a very positive event in a time when the pandemic is still lingering.”