Boxing Up Food For Families

April 25, 2009|By Gus G. Sentementes | Gus G. Sentementes,

Expecting demand for food assistance to soar this summer, the Salvation Army in Baltimore kicked off its first "Can Do" campaign Friday to collect and distribute food to needy families across the metropolitan area.

Volunteers assembled boxes of food, which could be used by a family of four for three days, at the nonprofit agency's warehouse in Hampden. The Salvation Army bought canned food and dried goods - enough for about 1,000 families - from the Maryland Food Bank, according to Peggy Vick, the Salvation Army's director of family services and volunteer services.

"The demand for food in the past six months has tripled, and usually in the summer, it doubles," Vick said. "So we know we're going to have a great demand this summer."

Demand for food assistance usually increases in the summer when children are out of school and do not have access to free breakfast and lunch programs.

The boxes include canned vegetables and prepared foods, such as ravioli, and dried prepared food, such as pancake mixes and mashed potatoes, Vick said. She said the Salvation Army bought much of the food at a discount from the Maryland Food Bank, but the nonprofit is also accepting food donations from people who wish to contribute.

When the boxes are ready to be given to families, meat - such as chicken and ground beef - will be included, Vick said. After the boxes are assembled, they will be distributed to Salvation Army locations in Glen Burnie, Westminster, Columbia and Baltimore.

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