Guest Post by Tiffany Tan, Program Manager for our McCarrick Family Center
The McCarrick Family Center of Catholic Charities in Silver Spring, MD seeks your assistance in restocking our food pantry shelves. Approximately one year ago, we revised our food pantry system from giving clients pre-packaged bags of food to allowing clients to shop in the pantry and pick out their own food items.
As consumers, we have the choice of what to purchase at the grocery store, and we wanted to give our clients the same right and dignity. The outcome a year later has been a success as we’ve been able to serve a larger number of individuals and families, connect low-income residents with our services and additional services in the community, and our clients have appreciated the opportunity to shop for their food.
Each new client who comes for food first meets with a case worker to assess his/her situation to see if we can address needs around housing, medical/mental, social, family, legal, and/or financial. Having a choice food pantry has become a great anchor program to attract new clients.
However, the number of clients continues to grow and, particularly during the summer months, the food donations decrease. You can see in the chart to the right we experienced an increase in the number of households who have come for services (blue line) and the number of visits to the food pantry (red line). In June 2014, we had 181 clients shop in the pantry. While we receive food from the Capital Area Food Bank and are committed to picking up fresh produce from them once a week, many of our staple items are gone. Some shelves are bare. We are now even out the basics such as pasta, spaghetti sauce, and cereal.
We ask for your help if you are able to give food or a monetary donation for us to shop at the Capital Area Food Bank (at $.19/lb.) one-time, monthly, quarterly, or annually. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. You can donate in-person or via our secure webpage.
Our staple items most in need include:
- Beans (canned & dry)
- Canned fruit
- Canned potatoes
- Cereal & oatmeal
- Chef Boyardee
- Instant cups of soup
- Mac & cheese
- Mashed potatoes
- Muffin/cake mix
- Pasta & rice side dishes
- Rice (white and brown)
- Snacks (crackers, kid’s snacks, puddings)
- Spaghetti/pasta sauce
We can pick up donations from you or food can be dropped off Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm and until 8pm on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month. We are located at 12247 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20902. Please contact me with any questions at 301-942-1790 ext. 131. Thank you in advance for your donation.