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Can you spare a can?

November 06, 1998

Last Saturday The Herald-Mail distributed 28,000 grocery bags with the Saturday edition of our newspaper, as part of the annual "Bags of Plenty" food drive run by Food Resources, Inc., a United Way agency. If you tossed it out, don't fret. There's still time to put together a package of groceries for the hungry folks in this county.

And there are people in need out there, according to Brad Sell, executive director of Food Resources, who says that demand is up 18 percent this year at the various community food pantries.

The need has increased despite the state's booming economy because of welfare reform, Sell said. Many who would have been on public assistance in years past are now in the work force, but most hold jobs that only pay the minimum wage.

For someone trying to raise a family, that's not much, Sell said. By the end of the month, he said, their money is used up because many who are no longer eligible for public assistance have lost their food stamp privileges as well.

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To restock the county's food pantries, Sell said that the drive is aiming to collect 36,000 pounds of food between now and Nov. 23. To help, all you need to do is purchase some canned fruits and/or vegetables - the items in greatest demand - and turn them in at one of the following locations: Any local Food Lion, Martin's or Weis supermarket, or at County Market or Sam's Club.

If you'd rather donate to the food pantry in your area, that's fine, too, according to Sell, who said a list is available by calling Food Resources at (301) 733-4002. Donations can also be dropped off at Food Resources' warehouse at 930A Eldridge Drive in Hagerstown.

The Herald-Mail is joining in this effort with a number of corporate sponsors - M.S. Johnston Co., Onsite Commercial Staffing, Cellular One, First National Bank of Maryland, Weis Brothers Paper, the Washington County schools and a host of local veterans' groups - because we support those who are making a valiant effort to succeed in the work force. This community is rich enough, and its residents generous enough, to give them a helping hand.

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