Cumberland Times-News

November 18, 2013

Frostburg Area Interfaith Food Pantry director named Holiday Hero

Rafferty recognized at Dec. 7 parade

Angie Brant
Cumberland Times-News

— FROSTBURG — The upcoming holiday season marks the 10th anniversary of Frostburg Storybook Holiday and organizers are partnering with the Frostburg Area Interfaith Food Pantry to help make the holidays a bit more special for area families.

Each year, a Holiday Hero is selected to represent the kind and generous spirit of the community. The honoree this year will be Bill Rafferty, director of the Frostburg Area Interfaith Food Pantry. Rafferty will be recognized during the annual Storybook Holiday Parade at 9 a.m. on Dec. 7.

“Each year we select someone in the community that works to help and serve others, someone that helps make Frostburg the truly special place that we love. And this year, we selected Bill Rafferty. He truly personifies that spirit,” said event organizer Barbara Ornstein.

Rafferty has served as the pantry director for more than 12 years. During his tenure, Rafferty has seen the need grow dramatically, as more and more families have come to rely on the food pantry to provide meals for their families.

He said the pantry had a 45 percent increase in patronage in 2012. Thus far, 1,465 individuals have been served by the Frostburg Area Interfaith Food Pantry in 2013.

“We have seen a steady increase. We are now distributing food every day,” Rafferty said. “We try to supply enough food to last more than a week.”

To support Rafferty’s efforts, Frostburg Storybook Holiday is hosting a special food drive, The 12 Days of Giving. Participants are asked to donate 12 items of each of the following needed food stuffs: Cake mixes, macaroni and cheese, canned soups, tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, pancake syrup, ketchup, mustard, pancake mix, boxed potatoes, peas and peanut butter. The 12 Days of Giving begins Nov. 26 and continues through Dec. 7.

Rafferty said these are the items most in need for the pantry and will help keep the shelves full during the upcoming holiday season. Items can be dropped off at the food pantry, Armstrong Insurance or the Frostburg Community Library.

Rafferty said he was surprised and humbled by the honor of serving as the Holiday Hero, but hopes this recognition will result in more donations for the food pantry.

“The need is growing and I believe this food drive will help make sure that our area families do not go hungry,” Rafferty said.

The Frostburg Area Interfaith Food Pantry is located in the Jones Center of the Frostburg United Methodist Church, across from the post office. The pantry accepts clients on a referral basis only, working with community pastors, the Department of Social Services and Allegany County Human Resources Development Commission to provide both food and clothing assistance to families in need.

Those interested in volunteering or donating food can call Rafferty at 301-707-0330. Checks and other financial contributions can be sent to the Frostburg Interfaith Food Pantry, P.O. Box 301, Frostburg, MD 21532. For a complete list of activities planned for the 2013 Frostburg Storybook Holiday, visit www.frostburg.edu/clc.

Contact Angie Brant at abrant@times-news.com.