Cumberland Times-News

January 7, 2013

Still hungry

Need for food doesn’t end after the holidays

Cumberland Times-News

— At Thanksgiving and Christmas, many in our community open their hearts and donate food to those who are not able to buy enough to eat. But hunger knows no season, and now that the holidays are behind us, the need for food donations continues.

 A snapshot of that need could be glimpsed in a story in Monday’s edition of the Times-News by staff reporter Greg Larry. He wrote about Pantry Partners, a committee supported by the Frostburg Rotary Club that has launched a food drive called “Phone a Friend for Food” to help stock the shelves of the Frostburg Area Interfaith Food Pantry.

The pantry serves nearly 160 people a month while having nearly 1,900 people approved for food. In other words, only a fraction of those individuals and families in need of help with food is being helped.

Bill Rafferty, director of the food pantry, said the economic downturn is the reason so many people are looking for assistance.  “We have people that are working but are having trouble making ends meet,” said Rafferty.

The Frostburg pantry’s shortage of food is not an isolated example. Food pantries in Cumberland and throughout the county are lamenting the lack of food and cash donations. If more help was forthcoming the pantries could assist more needy individuals.

The Frostburg drive will run from Jan. 14 to 31. Volunteers are asking for people to call at least 10 friends and ask them to donate food. The pantry is located at 44 W. Main St. in the Jones Center of the Frostburg United Methodist Church. A dropbox for food is located on the rear porch.

Those interested in volunteering or donating food can call Rafferty at 301-707-0330. Checks and other financial contributions can be made out to the Frostburg Food Pantry, P.O. Box 301, Frostburg, MD 21532.

Other area food banks also need assistance. Contact one of them and offer food or cash — you’ll be helping your neighbor ward off hunger and despair.