Filling Food Sunday's Bare Cupboard

September 06, 1995

Many thanks to the people who contributed food or money to Carroll County Food Sunday on behalf of The Sun or Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett. Mr. Bartlett's challenge to this newspaper to collect food for the local food bank produced two truckloads of groceries and canned goods and several very generous checks. The cans and money will supplement Carroll County Food Sunday's efforts to feed those in this county who are having trouble feeding themselves.

As part of his effort to demonstrate that private philanthropy is capable of taking care of the county's -- and, for that matter, the nation's -- needy, Mr. Bartlett's office helped to arrange the delivery of two tractor-trailer loads of canned food from Feed the Children, an Oklahoma City-based organization that is part of the Larry Jones International Ministries. Feed the Children donated about 54,000 pounds of food that included bottles of Gatorade, canned vegetables, baby food, liquid margarine, canned ravioli and some bags of candy.

The ceremony marking the food drive's conclusion drew a large crowd. Of the several dozen attendees, only Sheriff John Brown was moved to match a $100 contribution to the food bank. Others pitched in and helped to unload one tractor-trailer. But after the cameras and reporters left, five "street people" volunteered to unload the remaining 14 tons of food. Without the help of these much-maligned people, the food would still be sitting in those tractor-trailers.

While this infusion of food will tide Carroll County Food Sunday over temporarily, the need continues. Despite an improving economy, Carroll's food bank will probably serve a record number of people this year. If present trends continue, the amount of food distributed will be about 12 percent more than last year. It is expected that 723 new households -- meaning they have not received groceries from Carroll County Food Sunday for the past five years -- will ask for food in 1995.

So far this year, donations are running about 14 percent behind those of last year. The increased demand, plus the declining donations, indicate an ominous trend. For whatever reason, more people need Carroll County Food Sunday's services. Food or monetary donations can be dropped off at the food bank's office at 10 Distillery Drive in Westminster.

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