From the Director’s Corner
May has been a very busy month for MUM! We continue to have more people coming to our office and mobile food pantries, as well as seeking financial assistance with rent and utilities. When I talk with our clients, I am struck by how many are working and yet struggling to make ends meet. Some are on fixed incomes which are not able to keep up with inflation, while others are unemployed and looking for work. Many have children and are in need of diapers, baby food and other items. Montgomery County is a wealthy county, but also a very expensive one to live in, and many households struggle to find affordable housing. With so much of their income going towards rent, there is often little left for food, diapers, and other essential needs. The gratitude and relief that I see on people’s faces when we are able to help them with food or financial assistance makes all the hard work of our staff and volunteers worth it.
As MUM faces the reality of having less food and funding as pandemic-era programs end, we have made the difficult decision to reduce the number of mobile food pantries we operate for the next few months. In June, we will have mobile pantries on the first and second Sundays – at Aspen Hill Christian Church on June 4 and at Millian United Methodist Church on June 11. Starting in July, we will only have one mobile food pantry on the first Sunday of the month at Aspen Hill Christian Church. See schedule (English | En español). MUM is coordinating with others distributing food in the same communities in which we are working to ensure that our clients can still access food from other sources, and they can also come to the Aspen Hill location or to the food pantry in our office. This “pause” is necessary to evaluate our programming, seek stakeholder input, and develop a strategic plan for the future.
MUM continues to rely on donations of food, time and money to continue our operations – and we are so grateful for those who support our work in so many ways. We have dedicated volunteers and generous individuals who have organized fundraisers and food drives in lieu of birthday gifts, including May Nakamura who turned 103 this month! The annual Stamp Out Hunger event was a success and could not have happened without many volunteers and our hard-working Board of Directors. Thanks to all who continue to support our neighbors in need by working with and supporting MUM!
Thanks for your support of Stamp Out Hunger in May!
Thanks to our many neighbors who donated close to 9,000 pounds of food and to the more than 50 volunteers who helped sort and transport it! This is much-needed food that MUM will provide to neighbors in need at our office and mobile food pantries!
For more than 30 years, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) has conducted an annual nationwide food drive, collecting non-perishable food donations along postal routes. After a pandemic-forced cancellation in 2020, and a move to online in 2021, Stamp Out Hunger returned in May of 2022 and was back in full force on May 13, 2023, with MUM reaping the benefit of the local food drive! We thank our local letter carriers for their efforts to Stamp Out Hunger as MUM and our clients once again benefitted from the community’s generosity this year!
Happy Birthday and Thanks to MUM Supporter May Nakamura!
Neighbors celebrated May Nakamura recently as she turned 103! In honor of the occasion, Ms. Nakamura, a long-time supporter, asked neighbors to bring monetary and non-perishable food donations for MUM. We are so grateful for this support of our neighbors and send wishes for a great year ahead!
Plan to Attend Upcoming Fundraisers!
Juneteenth Celebration Supports MUM
On Saturday, June 17, FAsMarketplace is hosting a Freedom Fest in celebration of Juneteenth at Marian Fryer Town Plaza in Wheaton. The event runs from 11 am through 8 pm and will feature live music, craft vendors, fashion, and interactive family fun. Attendees are asked to bring monetary and non-perishable food donations for MUM and will be entered into a drawing for prizes that will be given out during the concert.
Juneteenth commemorates the day when all enslaved people in the United States were actually emancipated. It has been a long-standing holiday celebrated in African American communities across the country and became an official federal holiday in June 2021.
Learn more about the event here (Freedom Fest 2023 – FAsMarketplace)
Support MUM at Give a Hoot Comedy Club on June 30 and July 1!
The Give a Hoot Comedy Club gives a portion of the net proceeds for all tickets sold each weekend to that weekend’s sponsored charity! Comedian Joey Callahan will be featured at two shows benefiting MUM on Friday, June 30 and Saturday, July 1! Give a Hoot Comedy Club is located at 16143 Shady Grove Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20877. Doors open one hour before the 8 pm showtime each evening, parking is free, and the full La Mexicana food and drink menu is available in the club! Tickets are $20 in advance (DC Comedy Clubs Montgomery County MD (giveahootcomedy.com) and $25 at the door. Get your tickets now and join us for this evening of fun, while helping MUM!
Remember – If You’ve Got a Garden, Plant a Row for MUM!
Many years ago, a garden columnist started the “Plant A Row” program by inviting readers to plant an extra row of vegetables to help those in need. Since that time, millions of pounds of produce have been donated to food banks, soup kitchens and other charities across the U.S.
MUM invites you to join us in a “Plant A Row” effort to benefit those experiencing food insecurity right in our own community. If you have a garden plot, participate in a community garden, or just have a few pots on your balcony, please consider planting a little extra to donate to MUM. Many of our clients cannot afford enough fresh fruits and vegetables due to rising costs. MUM aims to provide as much fresh produce as possible at our in-office and mobile food pantries because we know that fresh, nutritious foods are critical for the health and wellness of our neighbors.
As our funding for produce is on the decline, we could really use your help. MUM will gladly accept your bumper crop of zucchini, tomatoes, greens, peppers, potatoes and any other produce you can provide for those in need. As always, all of your gifts to MUM – including produce – are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
Give us a call when you’re ready to drop off your donation at the office (where we have refrigeration) or at our mobile food pantries. In the meantime, we wish you all the best this planting season!
If you have a creative idea for a food drive or fundraiser for MUM, please let us know. We would welcome the opportunity to partner with you.
MUM Office Schedule
MUM’s office and in-office food pantry are open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9am to 4pm. Appointments for assistance with eviction, utilities, and prescription drugs can be made by contacting the MUM office by telephone at 301-929-8675, by fax at 301-929-8234, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your support of MUM’s work to meet the ongoing needs of our neighbors. We make it easy to donate money, food, and time!