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Area food pantry leads nationwide campaign

December 7, 2014

Huntingtown, MD – An ongoing campaign to aid the nation’s food pantries is garnering votes all across the country. Currently leading the pack—by a relatively big margin—is a Calvert County facility, Chesapeake Cares Food Pantry.
The coast-to-coast competition is being conducted by Walmart as part of its Food Pantry Holiday Makeover campaign. The 75 food pantries garnering the most votes will receive a $20,000 grant from the national retailer’s charitable foundation. The grant cash may be used to expand and/or renovate facilities and purchase new equipment.
“Food pantries play a vital role in providing healthy meals to their communities,” stated Walmart Foundation Kathleen McLaughlin in a press release. “As they face great demand this winter, we’re working to make a positive impact by ensuring that they have the infrastructure to safely prepare and store food so more families can have access to healthier meals.”
The Walmart Foundation launched its Food Pantry Holiday Makeover campaign Tuesday, Dec. 2. The day was universally proclaimed “Giving Tuesday” as an altruistic alternative to the more familiar, commercially focused Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
As soon as Giving Tuesday arrived, the tallies for Chesapeake Cares Food Pantry and other similar facilities began streaming in via social media.
“It’s really affirming to see the number of votes,” said Chesapeake Cares spokeswoman Jackie Miller. “It shows the community is excited. The grant will help us expand.”
The 10-day campaign will conclude Friday, Dec. 12 at 11:59 p.m. Between now and then the public can visit and cast one vote per day.
Miller said Chesapeake Cares Food Pantry has been promised a matching grant from the State of Maryland.
While Christmas season is perhaps the time when most people consider charitable giving and demonstrate concern for members of the community who are struggling, Miller said Chesapeake Cares Food Pantry stays busy on daily basis. “Our numbers don’t fluctuate at all during the year,” Miller stated. “I think there’s more attention this time of year.”
Miller said the goal is to obtain the foundation’s $20,000 grant. Being number one in the nation doesn’t have any fiduciary perk attached to it. However, to be the most popular food pantry in the U.S.A. would bring quite a measure of fame and pride to Calvert County. Chesapeake Cares is the only Maryland-based food pantry involved in the campaign.
For more information on the Chesapeake Cares Food Pantry, visit
Contact Marty Madden at

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