Carroll County charity sends New York victims $5,000

Food bank's donation to help hungry in city

September 23, 2001|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Carroll County Food Sunday, a charity that dispenses about 200 tons of food annually to the county's needy, has taken $5,000 from its coffers and sent it to the victims of the Sept. 11 tragedy in New York.

"We can't send food and we know they need money," said David Hagerty, spokesman and former chairman of Food Sunday, which operates distribution sites in Westminster, Eldersburg and Taneytown. "This way, they can buy whatever they have needs for.

"Our mission to feed the hungry in Carroll County, to act as their safety net, will continue," he said. "But we are also in the business of looking after humanity. If we can do anything at all in this crisis, we should."

The money will go to Food for Survival Inc., based in the Bronx. The organization provides food to pantries and soup kitchens throughout New York's five boroughs, including about 1,200 programs, said Lucy Cabrera, president of the organization.

"The whole country has been so generous that we have opened additional warehouses to store food," Cabrera said. "But we are really concerned about what happens next, especially as unemployment takes hold. We were already working at capacity prior to this catastrophe. There are so many homeless."

The World Trade Center drew employees from across the city, New Jersey and Connecticut.

"Not everyone who died Sept. 11 was wealthy," said Kemba Johnson, communications and marketing director for Food for Survival. "A lot of families lost their breadwinners."

Food for Survival started a 24-hour emergency hot line Thursday to help residents locate the nearest pantry or soup kitchen.

"We are going to see a lot of first-time users of our services, people who need assistance and don't know where to find it," said Cabrera. "So many lives have changed. All levels of income are affected. This gift is very significant."

In a letter mailed to Food for Survival last week, Kathleen Bailey, treasurer of Carroll County Food Sunday, wrote, "In the spirit of both of our organizations, we must continue to work to share the blessing of food and support with those in need."

That Food Sunday can make such a donation is due to the generosity of area churches, community organizations and the residents who keep its shelves and freezers filled, said Hagerty.

"Our bills are paid, our shelves are stocked and the community is supporting us nicely," said Hagerty. "We have been good stewards of the donations we have received, and if we can help others, we want to do so."

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