CCEA gets an un­ex­pected food do­na­tion

Will help with sev­eral feed­ing min­istries

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By JANE BELLMYER

jbellmyer@ce­cil­whig.com

— A chance en­counter at an af­ter-Christ­mas din­ner party re­sulted in a huge do­na­tion of food for the needy served by the Ch­e­sa­peake City Ec­u­meni­cal As­so­ci­a­tion.

“I made a con­nec­tion with a lady at a party who works for Camp­bell’s (Soup Com­pany),” said Eileen Viars, CCEA pres­i­dent, re­fer­ring to the iconic New Jer­sey-based

CH­E­SA­PEAKE CITY

com­pany with such brands as Prego, Pep­peridge Farm, Swan­son and V-8.

Viars said dur­ing that brief meet­ing she ex­plained the var­i­ous feed­ing pro­grams that CCEA op­er­ates in­clud­ing the Bag of Hope for the el­derly, Gen­er­a­tion Sta­tion — the af­ter school pro­gram for mid­dle and high school stu­dents — and clients of CCEA, which could ben­e­fit from a do­na­tion from com­pa­nies such as Camp­bell’s.

That was in De­cem­ber. On Mon­day morn­ing, her phone rang with a word that eight pal­lets of food was await­ing pickup.

Kay Red­ding, di­rec­tor of the Bag of Hope pro­gram, wel­comed the gen­er­ous gift.

“This will be a big help def­i­nitely,” she said. “We haven’t been able to or­der from the Mary­land Food Bank.”

Last fall, the food bank told non­profit feed­ing pro­grams, in­clud­ing CCEA, that it was rais­ing the de­liv­ery cost from $50 to as much as $300 to re­cover from a bud­get deficit.

Af­ter hear­ing of the de­liv­ery, Viars had to make more phone calls. She had an army of vol­un­teers on standby, who quickly ar­rived at Sta­tion 12 to un­load the truck and assign the food to var­i­ous lo­ca­tions.

“It was shipped out of Ohio,” Viars ex­plained. “We didn’t know when it was com­ing.”

On those pal­lets, she found cases of spaghetti sauce, juice, mac­a­roni and cheese din­ners, soup, Gold­fish snack crack­ers and Spaghetti-Os.

Viars said her benev­o­lent friend hoped to be able to re- peat the do­na­tion.

“She said she would do it as of­ten as she can, a min­i­mum of once a year,” Viars said.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

An army of vol­un­teers helps un­load a do­na­tion from Camp­bell’s Soup Com­pany.

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