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Weis Markets donating gift cards to Maryland Food Bank

December 07, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

HAGERSTOWN

Weis Markets is donating $28,520 in gift cards to the Maryland Food Bank to help feed the state's hungry during the holiday season.

Officials say they hope thousands of dollars in cards will come to a Hagerstown-based organization that distributes food to numerous local pantries.

During September, Weis Markets, which has several stores in Washington County, launched a food drive to fight hunger and customers donated 50,000 pounds of food, said Weis Markets spokesman Dennis Curtin.

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Then Weis decided to add to the effort by donating gift cards, Curtin said.

"We want it to be a one, two punch," Curtin said.

Curtin said the economic downturn has led to a "tremendous surge" in the need for food.

Maryland Food Bank provides food to soup kitchens, emergency shelters and low-income day-care centers. Its Baltimore facility supplies food to six distribution organizations, including Food Resources Inc. on McRand Court in Hagerstown.

Maryland Food Bank receives what it calls "salvage products" from grocery suppliers, such as dented canned food items, said Shanna Yetman, spokeswoman for the agency.

Yetman said the gift cards from Weis Markets will be especially helpful for the Maryland Food Bank because it will allow the agency to buy what it needs, like high-protein foods such as tuna and peanut butter.

Ruth Anne Callaham, executive director of Food Resources Inc., said she does not know how much help the local organization might get from the Weis donation.

"I would hope we get several thousand dollars out of it," Callaham said.

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