"Hunger knows no holiday."
This phrase, uttered often by the late Larry Adam, founder of the successful yearly Maryland food drive "Harvest for the Hungry," was kept close to heart by the more than 130 AARP volunteers who staffed tables at Maryland-area Safeway stores this year from March 1-9 to encourage donations toward this year's campaign.
Their efforts were not in vain, as this year's Harvest for the Hungry "Spring Forward" food drive collected 4,750 bags of food for hungry Marylanders!
This amount equals 47,500 pounds of food, which will make 39,583 meals . The campaign was jointly promoted and carried out by AARP, Safeway, Maryland Food Bank, The Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, and USPS. All organizations played a key role in this year's success!
About the Drive to End Hunger Spring Forward Food Drive
The food drive, which took place March 1 – 9, asked the public to donate pre-packaged bags of food at Safeway stores where AARP and Girl Scout volunteers were stationed; drop off donations at post offices; and/or give a bag of food virtually at the food bank's website. The drive comes at a critical juncture for local food banks and the many soup kitchens, pantries, shelters, schools and other community-based organizations they supply food to. Donations decline after the holidays, and with more than 740,000 Marylanders uncertain where their next meal is coming from, help is needed more than ever.
Food Drive Success: By the Numbers!
- More than 130 volunteers worked in stores across MD. Many of these volunteers are new to AARP!
-A total of 14 Safeway stores were staffed with volunteers in Baltimore City Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Carroll, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Queen Anne Counties.
-Safeway sold 4,750 pre-stuffed bags of food for the Harvest for the Hungry Spring Forward Food Drive this year - equaling more than 47,500 pounds of food and 39,583 meals!
Why we do it
The Harvest for the Hungry/Spring Forward Food Drive is a key part of AARP's 2014 Drive To End Hunger efforts. Maryland ranks 29th for older adult risk of hunger with 6.35% of older adults considered at-risk. In addition to this short-term solution, AARP MD will work in 2014 with partners in the Food Insecurity space on more long-term solutions by means of helping to increase SNAP enrollment and advocating for legislation and regulations when and where needed to ensure that older Marylanders have access to affordable, nutritious food.
How we do it:
Through the power of our Volunteers.
We know that the personal ask makes the difference and our volunteers were the key to the success of this event! AARP MD has a heart for service. AARP was founded by a volunteer, and believes that volunteer service is a unique and valuable contribution that benefits both the volunteer and society. We could not do this work without our terrific volunteer team.
Through the power of Community Partnerships.
AARP MD partnered with the Maryland Food Bank, the Capital Area Food Bank, Safeway, WBAL TV11, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, the United State Postal Service and Community Activists David and Larry Adam, son’s of Harvest for the Hungry Founder and AARP MD 2013 Andrus Award winner, Larry Adam who passed away at the end of 2013.
To see more images from this year's Spring Forward food drive, view AARP Maryland's Facebook photo album.
Watch AARP Maryland State Director Hank Greenberg speak about the campaign and AARP's mission during the kick-off press conference:
Watch David and Larry Adam, sons of the late Larry Adam, speak about the campaign and their father's legacy at the press conference:
With the clear success of this year's campaign, we cannot wait to help halt hunger again in 2015--with the help of our community partners, volunteers, and those in the community who have resolved to help stamp out hunger in Maryland. Thank you to all who participated!