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Food bank needs money web

Volunteer coordinator says treasury is at one of its lowest points in 30 years

Volunteer coordinator says treasury is at one of its lowest points in 30 years

June 08, 2006|by MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN

The treasury at the Community Food Bank at St. Mark's Lutheran Church is down to $4,000, and according to volunteer coordinator Beth Stouffer, it's only been this low once before in her 30 years there.

Stouffer believes part of the problem is that regular contributors might have donated to victims of Hurricane Katrina and other disasters and cut back on their monetary gifts to local causes like the food bank.

"We won't be able to buy enough milk and meat or pay Corsi's Market," Stouffer said of the current situation. Corsi's supplies the food bank with a number of items including milk and eggs, which the market delivers on an as-needed basis.

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Stouffer said running to the bigger chain markets and buying a lot of milk at a time might save a little money, but if the milk isn't distributed right away, it will have to be thrown out.

"We have limited refrigerator space to store food," she said, noting that Corsi's delivers just what the food bank needs at the time.

Hamburger meat is bought 400 pounds at a time from Hoffman Quality Meat, which also delivers, Stouffer said.

Without a boost in cash donations, clients might have to go without these perishables and other items that are donated to the food bank.

"We get a lot of food from area churches," Stouffer said, noting St. Mary Catholic Church is one of the bigger contributors.

St. Mark's provides the food bank with free space and pays all overhead costs - a benefit that allows more money to buy perishable dairy and meat products for the needy, Stouffer said.

Last month, the all-volunteer food bank served approximately 700 clients.

Contributions are tax-deductible. Checks should be made to St. Mark's Lutheran Church with a memo notation indicating it is for the food bank. A separate account is kept for the food bank, Stouffer said.

Checks may be mailed to St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 601 Washington Ave., Hagerstown, MD 21740.

Hours for the food bank are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 1 to 3 p.m. Clients must show referrals from agencies such as The Salvation Army, Community Action Council and the Department of Social Services.

For more information about the Community Food Bank, call 301-733-7550 Monday through Thursday from 1 to 3 p.m. or call Stouffer at 301-739-6795.

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