Pack to Give Back Local: Through Carmen's Eyes | Maryland Food Bank
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Pack to Give Back Local: Through Carmen’s Eyes

November 14, 2017

Pack to Give Back Local is an annual series of Maryland Food Bank events that bring together community agencies and corporate partners to pack holiday meals in every county the food bank serves, ensuring a joyful holiday season for more than 12,000 Maryland families that might otherwise go without.

Over the past two weeks, I have had the privilege of helping to pack thousands of holiday meals in communities across our state as part of the Maryland Food Bank’s Pack to Give Back Local program. While doing so, I’ve been thinking about why this annual tradition has such special meaning for me.

Last November, I participated in this seasonal event as an on-site volunteer — the very same day the food bank announced my decision to leave a 27-year banking career to join this important mission.

That day I witnessed firsthand the significant impact that can be made when the resources of corporate partnerships and the passion of committed volunteers work together in a well-run operation.

I walked away knowing that we not only helped feed over 500 families but came away with a better understanding of the needs of our communities and the magnitude of the hunger in our state.

My experience filled me with a strong desire to do more.

While it is extremely heartwarming to see Marylanders coming together to feed their hungry neighbors at the holidays, the fact is that more than 682,000 food-insecure Marylanders rely on us throughout the year.

Many are unaware that the food bank supplies enough food to provide 112,000 meals each and every day of the year — a huge undertaking that no other organization in our state is equipped to provide!

In addition to normal operations over the next three weeks, community-minded corporate sponsors and dedicated volunteers will help us provide more than 12,000 hungry families statewide with a traditional holiday meal this season. For that, I am truly thankful.

Hunger is clearly a year-round problem. But to me, there is something special about the Thanksgiving holiday in particular — there’s far less hustle and bustle than other holidays.

It’s simply families and friends coming together around a meal in the hopes that, even for a moment, they can enjoy spending time together and give thanks for each other.

Pack to Give Back Local will allow more than 12,000 families to have that moment, and it’s why this program is as important to me as it is to the families it will serve.

If your company would like to be a 2018 sponsor of Pack to Give Back Local, please contact Amy Chase.

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