More than 82,000 pounds of food distributed at second End Hunger FoodStock

End Hunger in Calvert County hosted its second annual “FoodStock” on Saturday at the End Hunger Warehouse, where more than 100 volunteers distributed 82,704 pounds of food, beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing until the last box of food was given away.
Cars began lining up at the Calvert Industrial Park in Prince Frederick for FoodStock ’13 as early as 6:15 a.m., coordinators said, and the line soon reached out to Route 231.
Last year, during the first FoodStock distribution event, volunteers gave away 59,000 pounds of food, according to Jacqueline Miller, director of communications for End Hunger in Calvert County.
This year’s event provided food to “about 850 to 1,000 families,” Miller said. “How it works is they come in, they wrap around, and there’s volunteers that have intake forms. So, we’re getting to know how many people are in their family, how old they are, so we can give them food that makes sense for their families.”
Volunteers then collected the forms and packed visitors’ cars with the appropriate amount of food — including collected nonperishable items and fresh produce from Farming 4 Hunger’s partnering local farms — for each individual family.
“It’s like a drive-thru,” Miller said Saturday. “In addition to just giving them food today, they’ll be receiving a form that invites them to let us continue caring for their families.” Each car was given a list of local food pantry hours and locations, “so they don’t have to just stop today; we can continue serving them.”
The Rev. Robert P. Hahn, chairman of End Hunger in Calvert County, said one of the main goals of the event was to, “as quickly as we can, get data from these folks so we can better understand who the hungry are and what their needs are.”
The current problem is that “there’s just not a lot of data on rural hunger; it’s so hidden,” he said. “You can’t say there’s no hunger problem.”
Miller elaborated, explaining that the face of hunger in Calvert County is not what one might expect.
“It’s the working poor here; it’s not drug abusers or the homeless. They often have a full-time job, if not two jobs,” she said. The hungry in Calvert County are “normal people — people who, if you saw them at Safeway, you would never know were in need.”
Miller said one of her favorite parts of the event is the reality check. The community is “confronted with the reality of hunger in Calvert County. When you see these cars in line,” she said, “you can’t ignore it.”

Special To The Recorder

Help Foodstock 2013, help end hunger

What’s so charming about Calvert County is the many family roots and the rich history planted here. We do not often fret when our children walk to visit a neighborhood friend or bike to the boardwalk or ice cream shop. While that is comforting, we can sometimes overlook the reality many families are facing. Feeding America and the United States Conference of Mayors report that rural hunger (15.4 percent) is now a larger problem than urban hunger (14.9 percent). We might not see the hungry faces as we drive through our county, but they are very real and very present.
Did you know that more than 10,000 Calvert County residents use local food pantries each year?
Our hungry neighbors are not drug abusers, mentally challenged or even unemployed. Our hungry neighbors are the working poor — many working two, sometimes three, jobs to support themselves and their families. A new statistic from our End Hunger in Calvert County partner food pantries shows that people ages 40 to 59 years old are the fastest growing demographic of hunger.
So, how are we working to help them? Our upcoming event, FoodStock 2013, will take place this Saturday, Aug. 17, at the End Hunger Warehouse in Prince Fredrick. During last year’s Foodstock, our volunteers handed out 59,000 pounds of food to more than 600 families in just three hours. This year, we hope to nearly double that number and distribute 100,000 pounds of food to 850 families in three hours.
Fresh produce for this event will be coming from our friends at Farming 4 Hunger and canned/dried foods will be supplied by the Maryland Food Bank.
If you would like to be part of FoodStock 2013, there are two ways you can help. First, you can be a hunger advocate and share our photos and posts. Pictures will be posted all throughout the day on End Hunger’s Facebook (“End Hunger In Calvert County”), Twitter (@_TogetherWeCan) and Instagram (EndHungerCalvert) pages. Sharing posts helps remind our community of the need and how Calvert County is moving to meet it. Secondly, you can make a financial donation online at All donations are tax deductible and will directly support FoodStock 2013’s operations.
Your donation and help could be what feeds your neighbor. If we all “#givewherewelive,” together, we can end hunger in Calvert County.

Zachary Nycum, Huntingtown