SHARE offering food, connection


March 10, 2000|By Peg Adamarczyk | Peg Adamarczyk,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WITHOUT ANY fanfare, individuals and groups all over the county and state participate in a monthly program that helps others as well as themselves -- the Self Help and Resource Exchange, better known as the SHARE program.

SHARE offers monthly food packages, loaded with grocery items, fresh fruit and vegetables, in exchange for two hours of work and $15.

Volunteer hours can be accumulated through church programs, helping out at a school, or donating time to a community group such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Campfire, 4-H, senior centers or a community improvement association.

"Actually, we define the volunteer time as anything you do for another without getting paid for it," said Nancy Quasney, coordinator of the SHARE site at Pasadena's Emmanuel Lutheran Church. "Immediate family doesn't count, though."

Each month, SHARE participants sign up and prepay for the food package and receive papers for recording volunteer hours. On SHARE distribution day, near the end of each month, participants exchange their signed work sheets for the package of food.

Quasney said SHARE began in the early 1980s in California as a way to get neighbors and neighborhoods to care about each other. Exchanging food purchased in bulk at wholesale prices for volunteering in the community proved to be a popular incentive for people to get involved.

Most -- but not all -- of the volunteers purchase the food for themselves. Quasney notes: "Many SHARE volunteers pay for the packages and work the hours only to give the food away to someone else; they are the unsung heroes."

Several local churches have been involved with the program since its arrival in Maryland in 1992 -- the year that Emmanuel Lutheran started.

"Our first month serving as a host site, we distributed 35 packages, and the numbers are still growing eight years later," Quasney said.

St. Jane Frances de Chantal Roman Catholic Church in Riviera Beach also serves as a host site for monthly SHARE distributions.

A sample of the March SHARE package includes individually frozen split chicken breasts, pollock fillets, a family-sized pot pie, fresh fruit, potatoes and onions.

As a bonus incentive to sign up, SHARE is offering an Easter meal package for $15 that includes a 4-pound ham, frozen macaroni and cheese casserole, frozen vegetable medley, fresh sweet potatoes, fruit and a Dutch apple pie.

Emmanuel Lutheran will accept SHARE sign-ups through Sunday. The deadline to participate through St. Jane Frances Church is Monday.

As a longtime SHARE participant, Quasney sums up its benefits: "The food has helped stretch our budget when we really needed it, but it's been the wonderful people I've met that are the greatest bonus."

Information: Emmanuel Lutheran, 410-255-4141, or St. Jane Frances, 410-437-8353.

Church fund-raisers

Food, glorious food is the focus of two church fund-raisers tomorrow:

Jenkins Memorial Church in Riviera Beach will have a chicken-and-dumpling dinner from noon to 6 p.m. tomorrow in its fellowship hall.

Tickets are $7.50 for adults, and $3.50 for children age 6 to 12. Those younger than 5 can eat free. Carryout will be available, with orders accepted starting at 11 a.m. Limited local delivery of carryout orders can be arranged.

Proceeds will benefit the church building fund. Carryout orders: 410-437-2846.

The men's club of Magothy Chelsea Community Lutheran Church will have a bull and oyster roast from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Severna Park Elks Lodge on Truck House Road.

Ticket are $20. Desserts, beer and setups are included, and door prizes will be awarded.

Information: 410-255-2276 or 410-255-1945.

Fishing group to meet

The monthly meeting of the Pasadena Sportfishing Group will take place at 7: 30 p.m. Monday at the Orchard Beach fire hall on Solley Road.

Guest speaker for the evening will be outdoors writer Gary Diamond, discussing striper fishing on Lake Anna.

PSG also will be collecting food for its "Snag A Bag" campaign to benefit the Harvest for the Hungry program.

Everyone attending the meeting is asked to bring a bag of nonperishable food or to donate a check payable to the Anne Arundel County Food Bank.

As an incentive, all donors will have a chance to win a custom perch rod, which will be awarded at the meeting.

According to Rich Dobry, PSG Snag A Bag chairman, members donated 1,500 pounds of food and $300 in cash last year. "Let's collect a ton of food this year," he said.

PSG meetings are open to fishermen of all ages. Membership is free. Food and beverages, sold by the fire department, will be available starting at 6 p.m.

Information: 410-HEY-FISH, or visit the PSG Web site at

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.