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DOT Foods celebrates 50 years by donating edibles

July 29, 2010|By HEATHER KEELS
  • Mark Stahr, office administrator at Interfaith Service Coalition in Hancock, stacks boxes of cereal on Thursday. DOT Foods on Thursday delivered a truckload of $35,000 worth of donated food to five Washington County food banks in honor of the company's 50th anniversary.
By Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- The DOT Foods tractor-trailer that wound its way around Washington County on Thursday was packed with its typical cargo of food products, but this was no ordinary delivery trip.

In celebration of the food redistribution company's 50th anniversary, employees from its Williamsport center spent Thursday delivering a truckload of $35,000 worth of donated food to five Washington County food banks.

"We are very charitable year-round, but this is a special event since we turned 50 May 26," warehouse manager Ken Racine said.

The Williamsport distribution center, itself more than 15 years old, is one of 11 DOT Foods locations across the country that is donating a truckload of food in local communities, Racine said.

Companywide, DOT Foods plans to donate 270,000 pounds of food through the anniversary celebration, a company press release said.

The Williamsport center worked with Food Resources Inc. to select five area food banks to receive the food, Racine said. The recipients were Williamsport Food Bank, ACTS 9 in Hagerstown, Matthew 25:35 in Hagerstown, Feed the Needy in Clear Spring and SHIP in Hancock.

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The donated food included nonperishable, high-demand items such as cereal, rice, beans, and canned fruit and vegetables, Racine said. DOT Foods employees volunteered their time to help unload it at the food banks, he said.

News of the donation was a welcome surprise for food bank organizers such as Sandy Martin, director of ACTS 9.

Martin said the downtown Hagerstown food bank was seeing as many as 10 new families a day, yet with donations lagging, her ability to help them is limited.

"It's very hard," she said. "People just aren't able to give anymore."

Racine said the experience has been rewarding for the DOT Foods employees.

"What we've learned today is food banks are usually not stocked up in the middle of summer as much as they are at Thanksgiving and Christmas, so our timing could not be better," he said.

"Amen," Martin replied.

Martin said she hoped the DOT Foods donation would last ACTS 9 until Christmas.

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