Stemming hunger's tide Bags of Plenty: After 13 years, need for seasonal community food drive keeps growing.

November 20, 1998

WHEN THE Bags of Plenty campaign was launched 13 Thanksgivings ago, not even the most optimistic person would have predicted that need for the community food drive would ever run dry. Hungry people, after all, are not a trend.

But what might not have been anticipated in 1985 is that the need would grow in spite of a strong economy, low unemployment and a bull market.

Or that nearly half the families now in need of donated food would have at least one adult member employed full time.

Or that women and children would overtake single men as the fastest growing segment served by soup kitchens and other emergency food providers, which now number almost 900 in Maryland.

Or that 6,000 people would have to be turned away from those providers in a year for lack of supply.

Bags of Plenty, since its inception, has become more essential. Please participate by leaving bags of nonperishable food items, such as pasta, peanut butter, canned fruits and vegetables, tuna and baby formula, at any Giant Food store or Baltimore City fire station through Nov. 28.

It is this region's largest annual food drive and helps stock food pantries into the new year.

Donors this weekend can "stuff a bus" with bags of donated food in front of Giant supermarkets at Perring Parkway in Parkville and the Southdale Shopping Center in Glen Burnie.

Cash donations can be sent to Bags of Plenty, P.O. Box 22831, Baltimore, Md. 21203. Or donations may be charged through 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.

dTC Give generously. They aren't making bags or buses any larger these days. Only the need has grown.

Pub Date: 11/20/98

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