Fill­ing the need

County or­ga­ni­za­tions help feed Ce­cil’s hun­gry

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By JANE BELLMYER

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-

PORT DE­POSIT

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.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

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.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF RAY OF HOPE

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.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

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.

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