Food for thought

October 16, 1990

For those of us who are fortunate enough to "do lunch" on a given workday and pick up carry-out Chinese food on the way home, thoughts of hunger -- and the hungry -- are mostly abstract. But at times each month hunger is a fact of life for as many as a million Marylanders.

They are the homeless; families whose food stamps run out; the working poor whose salaries won't stretch to cover rent, shoes for the kids and food; families of workers who have been laid-off. Half of them are children. For these people, the 600 soup kitchens and pantries in the state are a lifeline that is fraying because needs have far outstripped resources.

One source of help is RSVVP -- Restaurants Sharing 10 (VV) Percent -- an annual fund-raising event sponsored by the Maryland Food Committee. Tomorrow, the 260 Baltimore area restaurants displaying an RSVVP poster have made a commitment to donate 10 percent of their gross receipts to the food committee, which will funnel every dime to the soup kitchens and pantries around Maryland. The committee hopes to raise $50,000 to provide a boost for pantries and soup kitchens as winter approaches.

Making RSVVP work requires only that patrons choose participating restaurants tomorrow. It's a small thing that can make a very big difference. More important, the event brings the issue of hunger into public view year after year, reminding citizens and lawmakers alike that the problem of hunger is nowhere near solved in Maryland and that every dollar helps.

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