Preventing a bitter harvest

Food drive: Extended deadline of campaign offers chance to help the state's food bank near its goal.

March 28, 2001

WELFARE reform steered thousands of Marylanders toward self-sufficiency, giving them a chance to earn regular paychecks and a sense of pride. But it didn't end hunger.

We can.

First, we have to step up to the plate, or, in this case, to the mailbox or post office.

The Maryland Food Bank's 14th annual Harvest for the Hungry drive, which it conducts with the U.S. Postal Service, has fallen far short of the ambitious goal: Only 22,000 pounds of food have been collected -- one-fifth of the 100,000-pound goal.

Officials will stretch the deadline. Letter carriers are accepting canned goods and nonperishable items left at residential mailboxes and post offices until Saturday.

Unless the annual drive gets a late rally, many needy families, shelters and soup kitchens may have trouble putting food on their tables in the coming months.

Among the needy are many welfare graduates, who often find that paychecks from entry-level or low-income jobs aren't sufficient to pay for housing, electricity, child care and three nutritious meals a day. Some need help making it through the month -- every month.

Individual contributors who supported the Maryland Food Bank in December helped families get through the winter. But please remember that the struggle isn't seasonal. It's every season.

If you plan to visit the post office on or before Saturday, bring a few nonperishable items with you. Or leave the goods at your mailbox.

Or, on any day, send a check to the Maryland Food Bank, 241 N. Franklintown Road, Baltimore 21223. Each dollar allows the bank to distribute $10 worth of food.

Let's keep up the fight against hunger in Maryland.

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