Donors Fill MUM’s Pantry
MUM Works With Capital Area Food Bank
MUM Marches Against Hunger
EventsFall Fundraiser is Oct. 10
County Executive Isiah Leggett (center) would agree! Everybody likes a good party, and a worthy cause! Be sure you’re at MUM’s 2014 Fall Fundraiser, Friday, October 10, at 7:00 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building, 1 Veterans Plaza.
Super Rice Bowl For MUM
First Alliance Church members and MUM Executive Director Larry White unload rice for MUM’s food pantry
Pastor Mike Mercurio went knocking on his neighbor’s doors during 2014’s harsh winter, trudging through snow and chilly winds to ask a favor. Mercurio and members of First Alliance Church in Silver Spring wanted rice, a whole lot of rice for MUM’s food pantry in downtown Wheaton. Their search, part of First Alliance’s second annual Rice Bowl, took them to supermarkets and local businesses as well as neighbors’ homes through February and March. The congregation collected nearly 1,600 lbs. of rice, topping its 2013 collection by 500 lbs.
With the right approach, said Mercurio, “people are more than willing to help.”
First Alliance focuses its food drives on commodities for MUM, and rice is a staple in constant demand. MUM’s monthly food distribution is running 38 percent above last year as a result of new pantry hours on Saturday morning in addition to weekday hours on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.
First Alliance’s Rice Bowls, said MUM Executive Director Larry White, “give us a staple we can really count on for a period of time.” First Alliance collected the rice in small packages for easier distribution to pantry clients.
Other churches supporting MUM have held commodity food drives. Warner Memorial Presbyterian Church in Kensington collected rice for MUM last year and this winter collected about 150 pounds of dried beans.
First Alliance’s Mercurio said he got to know his neighbors during the collection and would like to see the effort involve more congregations and reach a broader segment of the community in the future.
“It was fun to do, and the idea of partnering serves the broader purpose, for all of us to work together,” he said.
For congregations and MUM supporters who are interested in holding a commodity food drive for MUM, these staples are critically needed: canned meats, such as tuna and chicken breast, peanut butter, canned fruit and cold cereal.
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Letter Carriers Deliver For MUM
A letter carrier collects donations during the Stamp Out Hunger food drive
Mid-County United Ministries has a well-stocked pantry for summer, thanks in part to an unprecedented collection of groceries from a May food drive by the National Association of Letter Carriers.
MUM was a recipient of food collected in the Silver Spring area on May 10 as part of the national Stamp Out Hunger campaign, described by the U.S. Postal Service as the nation’s largest one-day food drive. Letter carriers picked up donated food items from postal customers as they made their rounds on May 10. Days later, MUM volunteers hauled away 8,000 lbs. of nonperishable groceries from post offices in the 20904 and 20906 zip codes in Montgomery County.
“I think it’s given us a huge psychological boost as we get into the summer months,” said MUM Executive Director Larry White. “Everybody here is really overjoyed with the whole amount. There’s been a lot of buzz.”
Lloyd Deckman, the letter carriers’ longtime food drive coordinator for the Silver Spring area, said the collection of groceries jumped dramatically this year to well over 100,000 lbs. Letter carriers distributed Stamp Out Hunger paper grocery bags to customers before collection day.
“The response was incredible,” he said. “That made all the difference in the world.”
For the second consecutive year, MUM was a beneficiary of the Stamp Out Hunger campaign through the efforts of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church on New Hampshire Avenue in Silver Spring. St. John has helped letter carriers distribute their food drive collections to local pantries, and the church recommended MUM.
A volunteer stands with Stamp Out Hunger donations at MUM’s storage unit
MUM Launches Saturday Pantry Hours
Mid-County United Ministries (MUM) is regularly opening its Wheaton food pantry on Saturdays for the first time since the organization was established in 1996.
The Saturday Serve operation, running from 9–11:30 a.m., launched July 6 with volunteers overseen by Executive Director Larry White and Pantry Coordinator Joe Begg. The pantry, located in the Mid-County Regional Services Center on Reedie Drive, offers nonperishable groceries to needy residents in five surrounding zip codes: 20906, 20902, 20896, 20895 and 20853.
“Increasingly, we have become aware that there are people who are needing our food pantry, and they can’t access it because they have jobs during the week, so we have opened the door on Saturday,” said White. In recent years, steadily growing numbers of clients have visited MUM’s food pantry, named for the late Montgomery police officer, Capt. Joseph A. Mattingly Jr. White and his staff estimate that MUM distributed more than $60,000 of donated and purchased food in the 2013 fiscal year that ended June 30.
White said MUM now is spreading the word about Saturday Serve among its clients, community donors and partners. Pantry procedures are similar to MUM’s operation during the week on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Saturday clients are checked in by volunteers to MUM’s data base, and new clients are interviewed to assess their level of need. Clients shop the pantry for groceries with the assistance of volunteers, and their selection is weighed to stay within MUM’s allocation limits. Residents may visit MUM’s food pantry once a month.
Saturday Serve does not include MUM’s other emergency assistance programs that helps residents with evictions, utility cutoffs and prescription medicine.
White hopes Saturday Serve will be convenient not only for MUM clients but also for people who want to help.
“Now there’s the potential for them to be able to volunteer on the weekend,” he said.
MUM Joins Capital Area Food Bank
MUM is helping keep its food pantry stocked by utilizing resources of the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB), the region’s largest nonprofit combating hunger.
Calling All Schools!
School food drives are an important way MUM keeps its Wheaton pantry stocked with nutritious groceries for our clients. MUM invites school groups in our service area to collect nonperishable food items to fill our pantry shelves. MUM can provide shopping lists and collection bins. The food goes to neighbors in need in zip codes 20853, 20895, 20896, 20902 and 20906. Contact MUM at (301) 929-8675 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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