‘PANTRY ON THE GO’ VOLUNTEERS LEAD WITH THOUGHTFULNESS IN GLEN BURNIE
April 15, 2022- Glen Burnie Service Center secured enough fresh produce from Maryland Food Bank to feed over 120 low-income families in Northern Arundel. The Salvation Army of Central Maryland’s relationship with The Maryland Food Bank ensured that our service centers in Glen Burnie, Carroll County, Howard County, and our Corps in Middle River can provide fresh produce to families, once a month. From March until November, people battling poverty, and unemployment are getting food assistance and prayers from volunteers and staff.
“We have more than enough food for people, “said Dean Mears, Glen Burnie Service Center Manager. “We were able to fill two skids with over 60 boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables for people in need.” April’s Pantry On The Go attracted several families living off one paycheck, or living on disability. As soon as the door opened around 8 a.m, attendees formed a queue around the parking lot, many with kids in tow.
Sandy, a volunteer for The Salvation Army of Glen Burnie for over 4 years, is a familiar face for many families, especially ones with kids. Her familiar presence, encouraging words, and spirit would draw smiles, laughter, and long conversation with the crowd. Outside of The Salvation Army, Sandy has devoted much of her life to volunteering at various non-profits such as “Be More Kind” and “Hands and Feet” and several volunteers from those organizations run into the same people in need.
“What’s rewarding about this program is seeing people I serve over the years at other places and knowing everyone,” said Sandy, as she was handing lollipops to shy children and families.
“Kim generally runs ‘Pantry on the Go’ here at Glen Burnie Service Center. I volunteer here once a month for this program, but you can also find me here weekly on Thursdays providing warm meals to people,” she added.
Along with Sandy, volunteers such as Cathy McKinney and Jeff Chandler, has been volunteering for Pantry on The Go for many years. McKinney, originally comes from Easter Seals, a non profit that deals with homeless veterans re-integration to society services. What she really likes about Pantry on The Go is that families in need are given fresh food and not canned goods. “I know families are getting great food based on the produce boxes we give out. I am happy to know that people are eating healthy food,” McKinney said.
“I have seen quite a few of my veterans here that were recommended to come to the Glen Burnie Service Center for food. This was great for veterans who needed to get back on their feet and to know they are in a “no judgment” zone,” she added. Veteran affairs and needs are a passionate cause for McKinney.
One veteran client of hers who recently served, and his wife and children were going through a difficult time getting out of the military. A lot of people don’t realize that veterans have a hard time acclimating back into civilian life from serving. While the family was trying to acclimate, some of their financial resources dried up so the family emailed McKinney about needing charity help to get them back on their feet. This family came here and felt like they were treated as human beings and not as a charity case. This was one of many stories McKinney shared with staff and veterans at Pantry on The Go.
‘Doing the most good’ is embodied in every volunteer at The Salvation Army. Especially for volunteers at Glen Burnie Service Center who led with thoughtfulness.
Love Beyond Empty Cupboards. Help Combat Hunger in Glen Burnie.