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FRIDAY FOCUS: End Hunger In Calvert County

By Stefanie Cusick • September 30, 2016

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“Right now over ten thousand families in Calvert County rely on local food pantries to provide their next meal. That’s one in nine of us.” Can you imagine having to scrape by to feed yourself, your family and even your children? “Nearly 50% of those who go without food are children.” End Hunger in Calvert County strives to change these statistics by providing solutions for those who are dependent to be self-sufficient. They partner with food organizations, create programs and give their services and resources to Ending Hunger in Calvert County. After speaking with End Hunger In Calvert County President, Jacqueline Miller, we learned some new interesting facts about Hunger in Calvert County, as well as ways we can all give back on a regular basis to this wonderful cause.

Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)

 A: End Hunger In Calvert County is a non-profit organization with the mission of ending hunger in Calvert County. Together with our 44 Partner Feeding Organizations (food pantries, mobile distribution sites and the Heart felt backpack program), we distribute over 1 MILLION pounds of food to 15,000 people in Calvert County every year.

 Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?

A: Our favorite moment is when every food pantry in Calvert County officially partnered with End Hunger In Calvert County. It took us about 7 years to accomplish and now every food pantry in Calvert County is united and working as a team –an achievement not replicated anywhere else in the state of Maryland.

 Q: What is your biggest challenge?

A: Reminding people that Calvert County has a hunger problem. Calvert County is the 19th wealthiest county in the United States yet nearly 17% of our population relies on food pantry services. The hungry in Calvert County are not drug abusers, mentally ill, or the elderly. They are the working poor many holding multiple and/or fulltime jobs. It is easy to forget because the hungry in Calvert County often don’t look like the picture of hunger we may expect.

 Q: Are there any upcoming events?

Our next event is the Live Out Loud End Hunger Obstacle Trail Run on September 24! The Obstacle Run is a 2.5+ mile undertaking through mud-laden trails and obstacles, proven to excite anyone willing to accept the challenge. Participants have the option to run in the timed or family-friendly heats and afterwards enjoy our Post-Race Party! There will also be an Awards Ceremony to reward the fastest times in the competitive heats. For information on how to register, visit our website.

On April 29, 2017, we will have our annual Bike Ride where cyclists from all over the United States join us for a day of biking along the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. They pedal along the bay-front, marina, farmland and wineries while enjoying the company of friends who share their same passion for biking. Whether cyclists are new to the sport or are experienced riders, there are routes for everyone, ranging from 16 miles to a 63 mile metric century. Beginners can sign-up for our new rider route to cycle with a group and ride leader. More information about this event can be found at our website.

Q: How can people get involved with your organization?

There are a variety of opportunities for volunteers to get involved with End Hunger In Calvert County throughout the year. Many of our one-time opportunities revolve around seasonal events such as the Live Out Loud End Hunger Obstacle Run, End Hunger Bike Ride and Dragon Boat Festival. Our regular-basis volunteers support our programs, The End Hunger Warehouse and Calvert Cash Tax Assistance. For more information, email us at volunteer@endhungercalvert.org.

Upcoming Volunteer opportunities include

End Hunger Month - October

The Maryland General Assembly and Calvert County Board of County Commissioners officially declare October as End Hunger In Calvert County Month. Throughout the month local businesses, schools, and churches will host food drives across the county. Each year, the County-wide Food Drive brings in thousands of pounds of food, re-stocking the shelves of our Partner Food Pantries and feeding families in need.

Volunteers can be a part of feeding their community by participating. If any individuals, businesses, churches or other community organizations are interested in more information or hosting in a food drive, email End Hunger at info@endhungercalvert.org

Tags: Calvert, County, Events, Focus, Friday, local, Maryland, non-profit, School, share, volunteer