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Bags of plenty campaign falls short of goal

December 09, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

While this year's Bags of Plenty campaign fell short of the 60,000 pound goal, the total food collected was about 1 ton ahead of last year, according to Brad Sell, director of Food Resources Inc.

"We took in a grand total of 41,437 pounds of food," Sell said.

About 25,000 pounds were distributed to local agencies for Thanksgiving, with the rest available for December.

In the grocery store collection category, Martin's collected 4,596 pounds, Sell said. Weis, Food Lion, County Market and Sam's Club together collected another 4,822 pounds.

Eastern Elementary School took in 1,974 pounds to lead all other schools in the county.

Employees of Washington County led the corporate collections with 1,143 pounds.

More than 12,100 pounds of food was collected from outside the City of Hagerstown, Sell said.

"We also received $16,197 in cash, which is an increase of $3,500 from last year," Sell said. That money will help FRI buy food in bulk for distribution to charities.

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On Oct. 30, The Herald-Mail Co. distributed thousands of empty grocery bags in the newspaper to be filled with food for the needy.

Those who received the bags were asked to take them to one of the stores listed on the bag, fill it with nonperishable foods and leave it at the store for pickup by volunteers.

FRI operates a 10,000-square-foot warehouse from which other charitable organizations can obtain food for their feeding programs for the hungry.

One million pounds of food will be distributed from FRI to the needy this year.

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 the past are now in the work force, but many hold jobs that pay minimum wage.

Canned fruits and vegetables are the items in greatest demand.

More information can be obtained by calling FRI at 301-733-4002.

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