Food Centers In Need For This Year's Community Service Day
There are over fifty planned Community Service Day events across the county, including two in Germantown.
Montgomery County's 24rd annual Community Service Day will be held this Saturday, October 23, 2010 with activities running Friday through Sunday. This longstanding local tradition is now part of the larger nationwide Make A Difference Day. Volunteers are welcome to sign up and help with nearly sixty projects across the county. Activities range from pulling weeds to painting offices.
Many of the planned events will benefit Manna Food Center, Montgomery County's primary food bank. According to Kim Damion, Executive DirectorManna Food Center, the organization collects and distributes about 3.3 million pounds of food every year to roughly 36,000 needy families across Montgomery County.
"We provide food to 43 agencies across the county. We're also the largest provider of emergency food assistance to individuals in the county."
Unfortunately, Manna's food supplies are down this year.
"The grocery stores we rescue [food] from are getting better at their inventory control so there's less product available for us to rescue," Damion said. For the past two years, the Obama administration stimulus packages provided an extra 400,000 pounds of food to help the center. However, those supplies are not available this year.
"That's a lot of food to make up, [especially when] our numbers [of clients] aren't going down," Damion said. Families are doubling up to share available rations, so while fewer households will come to pick up food, Damion said, Manna will be feeding a greater number of people.
Germantown HELP, a local organization that delivers food to needy families, is also in urgent need of donations, according to Cindy Majane, the executive director for Germantown HELP. As the organization gears up for the holiday season, Majane said the organization is in need of grocery store gift cards to supplement their Holiday Giving Project. Germantown HELP received 1,032 referrals during last year's project. Majane said the organization is also in need of food donations for regular deliveries.
The following Community Service Day activities will help Manna Food Center prepare for the increased demand for food this winter. Damion said she hopes this year's donations will help to re-stock the shelves.
Volunteers are needed this week-end to staff Help Feed the Hungry Food Drives at twelve Giant grocery stores across Montgomery County. The Giant collection site at 18331 Leaman Farm Road in Germantown needs help from 10 am until 4 pm on Saturday. To volunteer, contact Marie Kozlowski, Volunteer Coordinator at Manna Food Center, at 301-424-1130. You can also reach her at email@example.com.
If you'd rather spend this Saturday outdoors, consider volunteering at the Menare Foundation's Button Farm Living History Center at 16820 Black Rock Road in Germantown. Helping hands are needed from 10 am until 4 pm to pick produce, clear garden beds, and prepare the soil for next year's crop.
Gleaned produce will be given to Manna Food Center for distribution to needy families. Tasks are appropriate for 4th graders to adults. Volunteers should bring their own drinking water, bagged lunch, and gloves. Individual volunteers may just show up, but groups of ten or more should RSVP to Phyllis Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Help Feed the Hungry Food Drives and Button Farm volunteer options are approved for Montgomery County Public Schools' Student Service Learning (SSL) hours. Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Call (301)482-1320 or e-mail email@example.com to make a donation to Germantown HELP.Click here for a complete listing of all volunteer projects around Montgomery County.