Bags of Plenty drive returns, seeks food, money donations Nonperishable items sought to help needy

November 12, 1998|By Ernest F. Imhoff | Ernest F. Imhoff,SUN STAFF

Bags of Plenty is under way again.

For the 13th year, the Maryland Food Bank and Maryland Food Committee are appealing for money and nonperishable food to help more than 20,000 needy people who eat daily at soup kitchens and food pantries around the state.

"Thousands of citizens have the opportunity in the next two weeks to directly impact their disadvantaged neighbors," said Bill Ewing, executive director of the food bank.

"Here it is, our 13th year, the same old thing, the food lines get longer at the soup kitchens. It's not the people's fault -- many have gotten jobs through welfare reform -- but it's not enough to feed their families. They need help."

Food being sought includes pasta, peanut butter, canned fruit or vegetables, canned meat or tuna, soup, evaporated milk and baby formula.

A typical grocery bag with 15 pounds of food can provide 12 meals. A check for $10 buys a three-day emergency supply of food for a family of three, while $25 supplies a family of four for one week.

Donated food and money are distributed so hungry Marylanders can eat during the holiday season and winter months.

Donors may leave bags of food at any Giant Food store or Baltimore fire station through Nov. 28. They may help "stuff a bus" Nov. 21 and 22, when MTA buses will be filled at Giant stores at Perring Parkway in Towson and Southdale Shopping Center in Glen Burnie.

Cash donations may be sent to Bags of Plenty, P.O. Box 22831, Baltimore 21203. Or people may call Sundial, 410-783-1800, Ext. 2247. From Anne Arundel County, call 410-268-7736; Carroll County, 410-848-0338; and Harford County, 410-836-5028.

Rob Hess, president and CEO of the Center for Poverty Solutions, said the number of hungry people has increased since a 1997 survey by the center's food committee.

The survey of emergency food providers found that 79 percent of soup kitchens reported an increase in the number of hungry people served; 47 percent of them were families with children.

Pub Date: 11/12/98

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