Trio of volunteers donates its time to church's food bank

October 12, 2007|By JANET HEIM

Every fourth Thursday for the past 12 years, Tom and Betty Young and Clayton Weigand have taken their turn volunteering at the food bank at St. Mark's Lutheran Church.

The trio knew each other through North Hagerstown High Band Boosters when their children were in the band. Their sons also were in Boy Scouts together.

Yet it's been through their work at the food bank that they have become good friends.

"We work very well together, us three," Betty Young said.

The food bank is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 1 to 3 p.m. On their workday, the trio arrives at St. Mark's ahead of time to prepare food bags.

Clients are referred by The Salvation Army, Department of Social Services and Community Action Council, Betty Young said. They are allowed to visit the food bank four times a year.


Each week, between 40 and 100 people come to the food bank. In addition to food, there also is a selection of used clothing and sometimes household items, if clients need them.

"We can always use food, clothes and a couple of new freezers," Betty Young said. "Our freezers are on the blink."

The amount of food clients receive is based on the number of people in their family. Canned goods are pre-bagged.

Extra items such as cereal, pasta, macaroni and cheese, ramen noodles, peanut butter, jelly and spaghetti sauces also are offered.

Day-old bread, milk, eggs, 1-pound portions of ground beef and hot dogs are offered when they're available. Fresh vegetables are an option when people share the bounty of their summer gardens.

For Weigand, 78, volunteering has kept him active since his retirement in 1991 from Columbia Gas Co. The last 25 years on the job, he was a meter reader.

"You gotta get out of the La-Z-Boy," he said. "Once you get in the La-Z-Boy, you're done. You gotta stay active."

Tom Young, 79, is semiretired from Foltz Manufacturing Co., where he has worked since 1949. Betty Young, 76, was a substitute teacher for Washington County Public Schools, and she said some of the food bank's clients are students she had.

All three are Hagerstown natives and are active in their own churches ? Weigand at Washington Square Methodist, where his wife also is an active volunteer, and the Youngs at Grace United Methodist.

Betty Young also visits residents at Coffman Nursing Home.

"I think it's fulfilling," she said. "We're tired when we leave here Thursday, but it's a good tired."

St. Mark's food bank, at 601 Washington Ave., depends on donations from individuals and businesses in the community. For information, call 301-733-7550 and ask for the food bank.

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