Bags of Plenty food drive is falling short Contributions are falling short, but demand is rising, director says.

November 29, 1991

The annual Bags of Plenty program, a local food drive for the needy, hasn't been living up to its name so far this season.

As of yesterday, people in Central Maryland had donated more than 132,000 pounds of food and more than $47,500 to the sixth annual campaign. That is far short of the goal for this year's holiday drive, to collect at least 425,000 pounds of food and $150,000.

"We've been able to provide Thanksgiving meals for more than 5,000 needy families who would have gone without, but unless we get more food and money in, we will not have enough to be able to help people this winter," said Linda Eisenberg, executive director of the Maryland Food Committee.

Eisenberg's committee and the Maryland Food Bank Inc. operate the Bags of Plenty program.

She said the two primary reasons for the lag this year are the state and federal budget cuts and the recession. And, she said, demand is up.

"The number of people who need help with food for the first time is increasing at an alarming rate," she said. "The number of meals served in area soup kitchens alone has increased by 54 percent in just two years. Many soup kitchens and pantries are just overwhelmed."

Donations of nonperishable food will be accepted for the Bags of Plenty drive through Monday. Those donations will be accepted at any Giant Food store, city fire station or Provident Bank office.

Financial contributions can be mailed through Dec. 14 to the Maryland Food Committee, P.O. Box 2370, Baltimore 21203.

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