SHARE offers $30 of food for 2 hours of service, $13

NEIGHBORS

August 09, 1994|By SHERRY GRAHAM

SHARE. The word suggests good things. Weren't we all beseeched as children to share?

In these days of growing food prices, any ideas and ways to stretch our food dollars are welcome.

One relatively easy way is offered by SHARE, an acronym for Self Help And Resource Exchange.

The program has been working at several sites throughout Carroll County, including one at St. Joseph's Catholic Community in Eldersburg.

Approximately 140 families and individuals participate each month.

The concept of SHARE is simple. People perform two hours of community service, and for $13 in cash or food stamps, they receive approximately $30 worth of groceries.

People should not be put off by the idea of performing some type of community service, says Joan Raznick, site coordinator for St. Joe's. Many are everyday tasks that people perform anyway.

I reviewed a list of suggested community service and was amazed at how easy it would be to satisfy this requirement.

Everything from giving a friend a ride to the store to volunteering with your child's classroom activities. Activities such as youth sports coach, Brownie troop leader and Neighborhood Watch organizer are among the suggestions. Even organizing a neighborhood block party qualifies.

The community service aspect of the SHARE program encourages people to take an active interest in their community. It also increases a sense of community pride.

And SHARE is not just for low-income families, says Mrs.Raznick. If you eat, you qualify.

The typical monthly food package contains 6 to 10 pounds of meat, 8 to 10 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables and various staple items.

The items in the food packages vary each month and represent a 60 percent savings from grocery store prices. By purchasing large amounts of food directly from food growers and brokers, SHARE is able to pass the savings on.

The SHARE program at St. Joe's has been flourishing for about a year. It has been so successful that organizers are hoping to open a site in Sykesville.

The site would not have to be elaborate, says Mrs. Raznick. She is anxious to find a location, ideally in downtown Sykesville.

The St. Joe's site holds its registration and distribution on the last Saturday of each month from 11 a.m. until noon. Anyone wanting more information about the SHARE program at St. Joe's, or anyone willing to help start a Sykesville-based program is urged to call 875-3323.

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A summertime tradition will continue this weekend as St. Joseph's Catholic Community hosts its annual chicken barbecue Sunday, from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the church grounds.

Featured will be barbecued chicken or grilled hot dogs, cole slaw, locally grown corn on the cob, home-grown tomatoes, rolls and beverages.

Prices are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $4 for children 12 and under. Hot dogs are $1 less than chicken, and carryouts are available for $1 more.

The International Year of the Family is the theme of the celebration, says Jean Maher, one of the event's organizers.

Organizers have planned many activities for the entire family.

Several types of music will be played throughout the day, including jazz, big band sounds and country square-dancing music. A barbershop quartet also will entertain.

Children can enjoy face painting, a moonwalk bounce, mule-drawn wagon rides and their favorite purple dinosaur. An artist will draw caricatures.

Chairman Jesse Yerger and his wife, Carla, have been fortunate to have help from some 200 volunteers. They expect to serve between 800 and 1,000 dinners. All parish committees have been involved with the planning and preparation for the event.

This is truly a community effort, says Mrs. Maher. The Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Knights of Columbus, Sodality, Sheen's Colleens, St. Joe's Athletic Association and the Freedom Optimist have all lent a hand.

All proceeds from the barbecue will go toward the parish's building fund. The event will be held rain or shine. Information: 795-7838.

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