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'Business' is brisk at Community Food Bank in Smithsburg

Clients thankful it is there

Clients thankful it is there

August 06, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

SMITHSBURG - "Business" was rather brisk at the Community Food Bank on a recent Tuesday morning. Perhaps it is a sign of the troubled economic times.

But whatever the reason, those taking advantage of the food bank said they were very thankful it is available.

"I've been using the food bank here when I need it for many years," said one client who asked not to be identified. "They are always friendly here."

The food bank in Smithsburg is centrally located at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 51 S. Main St., and has been for at least 30 years.

Barbie Buckler, church secretary, said on this particular Tuesday, there were six people with appointments to come by for food.

"The food bank is open every Tuesday from 10 to 11 a.m. by appointment," Buckler said. The number to call is 301-824-3521 when Buckler is at her desk, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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Though limited for space, the food bank committee tries to make sure there are enough of the essentials for individuals and families in need.

"People stop by and bring food at any time," said Pastor Mark Mooney whose office abuts the food pantry. Often when Mooney goes to the post office, he finds that people have dropped off items there and he loads them into his car and brings them to the church.

Sometimes, there will be boxes of food on the porch when Buckler arrives in the morning.

"Scouts, kids in school and the other churches bring us food too," said Carol Gaines, one of the food bank volunteers on a committee chaired by Patty Hutchison.

Clients are also given vouchers for milk, eggs and bread to use at the Smithsburg Market which then bills the church, Buckler said.

Anyone wishing to donate should know that the food bank would greatly appreciate peanut butter, jelly, pancake mix and syrup, boxed macaroni and cheese and juice that needs no refrigeration - some of the most requested items.

"We can always use donations of toiletry items - they really go fast," Buckler said. At Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are also special baskets prepared for the holidays.

Monetary gifts are used to buy some items, pay for electricity, gasoline and other expenses incurred by the food bank, Mooney said.

"This is a very generous community," Mooney said, noting that the Smithsburg Area Church Association is a strong supporter of the food bank.

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