Filling the need
County organizations help feed Cecil’s hungry
jbellmyer@ cecilwhig. com
— It’s that time of year when helping the less fortunate is as much a part of Thanksgiving and Christmas as the holidays themselves.
Ray of Hope Mission Center on Craigtown Road near Port Deposit has been on the giving and re-
ceiving end lately, helping distribute Thanksgiving baskets while also receiving a large donation of food and cash from workers at a local construction project.
In partnership with the Maryland Food Bank, Ray of Hope Mission Center and Cokesbury United Methodist Church in Port Deposit and St. Mary Anne’s Episcopal Church in North East purchased enough food for more than 500 holiday meals.
“We packed 320 bags, each with 15 items,” said Nancy Smith, senior director of government relations and principal gifts for the food bank.
Pallets of frozen turkeys were paired with canned corn, boxes of stuffing and other Thanksgiving essentials and bagged up in preparation to feed families all over Cecil County.
Helping with the packing were employees of Baltimore Gas and Electric. Joanna Warner, director of communications for the Maryland Food Bank, said this “Pack to Give Back” campaign was conducted at various locations across the state, including at Ray of Hope. This year, BGE employees who live in Cecil County were able to participate in the first- ever local project.
“They were happy to stay close to home,” Smith said.
Fifty of those bags were gathered up by members of Cokesbury UMC for distribution.
“These will go to people in need,” said Gwendolyn Henry, a member of the church on Route 222 near Port Deposit.
Another 80 bags went to North East for distribution by the St. Mary Anne’s congregation.
Courtney Barrett, director of Ray of Hope Mission Center said 200 turkeys would go into the freezer for Christmas distribution.
Meanwhile, Brenda Wright, assistant director, said employees of PCL Construction, which has more than 900 people building the Wildcat Point Generation plant in Conowingo, also delivered a check for $ 10,230 plus three pallets of food to the center.
“They did this for us last year too,” Wright said Tuesday, adding that since construction is near com- pletion a toy donation for the holidays next month will be their last. “We’re really going to miss them next year.”
Wright said those pallets of food included everyday items that Ray of Hope Needs to feed the more than 300 needy families and individuals in western Cecil County each month including fruit juice, canned meats and other non- perishables.
André Clark sets a box containing four frozen turkeys onto a pickup truck for distribution by members of Cokesbury United Methodist Church in Port Deposit.
Three pallets of food and a check for $10,230 was given to Ray of Hope Mission Center by PCL Construction, whose employees are building the nearby Wildcat Point Generation plant in Conowingo.
Steve Valenti, a Baltimore Gas and Electric Company volunteer, is all smiles as he helps load a pickup truck with Thanksgiving meals for needy families.