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Community Food Bank low on resources

August 01, 2007|By MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN - An influx of new people to the area is one of the factors putting a strain on the resources at the Community Food Bank at St. Mark's Lutheran Church.

"We've never closed our doors, and we don't want to now, but our shelves have never been this empty," volunteer coordinator Beth Stouffer said Tuesday.

At the close of Monday's workday, nearly all of the food had been given out, Stouffer said.

A family from Michigan visited the food bank just recently. Others who are not from the Washington County area have also been seeking - and getting - help, Stouffer said.

The food bank's treasury is down to $5,000, which limits the ability to purchase perishables like meat and milk for those in need.

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"We need money, but we also need food to put on the shelves," she said.

For more than 30 years, the food bank has been housed at St. Mark's Lutheran Church at 601 Washington Ave.

"We have a good number of volunteers, but we could always use more," Stouffer said. "We got two or three new people just recently."

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

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 to Thursday from 1 to 3 p.m. or call Stouffer at 301-739-6795.

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