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Compassionate Marylander Nominee

January 12, 2012

Compassion is defined as “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.” I would like to nominate Rev. Robert P. Hahn, Chairman of End Hunger In Calvert County as my Compassionate Marylander.
Rev. Hahn has been the Senior Pastor of Chesapeake Church for over 20 years and in 2006 he began a countywide movement that lead to the establishment of End Hunger In Calvert County. Rev.Hahn was inspired to launch End Hunger In Calvert County when he learned that while Calvert is one of the wealthiest counties in the United States, it suffers from rising poverty and hunger rates. Upon hearing that the majority of Calvert food pantry clients are children and the remainder already hold full‐time jobs, he was gripped by the vision of what could be accomplished if churches, schools, nonprofits,businesses and other organizations joined together. His mission is to not only feed people but to get to the root causes of local hunger and equip people to become self‐sufficient.
In its existence, End Hunger In Calvert County has grown into a grassroots partnership of over 25 churches, 11 food pantries, and more than 60 businesses united behind the idea that hunger in Calvert County can be defeated. Every October is now officially End Hunger In Calvert County Month, declared by a joint resolution of the Maryland State Senate and the House of Delegates as well as Calvert County Board of Commissioners. Rev. Hahn serves as an active partner on the board of Governor O’Malley’s Partnership to End Childhood Hunger.
Rev. Hahn’s vision for change has always involved people and inspiring others to envision what can be accomplished when they banned together to serve the greater good; one of his and End Hunger In Calvert County’s core values is that life change happens through relationships. And if you ever hear him speak on the issue of hunger, one thing is always unmistakably clear, hunger is not a food problem, it’s an awareness problem and together we can make a difference for thousands of people.
Determined to rally a people, Rev. Hahn has relentlessly spent the last six ‐ years unifying the community of Calvert County to care for the least fortunate. Because of his leadership and vision End Hunger In Calvert County’s 11 partnering food pantries serve over 10,000 residents each year. Every October, End Hunger In Calvert County hosts a countywide food drive in partnership with the Calvert County Public School SystemCalvert Memorial HospitalCalvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, College of Southern Maryland, as as countless individuals, community groups, and local businesses. Just this October, over 200,000 lbs of food were collected to fill the shelves of the local food pantries.
2011 also launched The Farms of End Hunger, eleven acres of farmland completely dedicated to providing fresh produce to local food pantries to provide healthy food options for low‐income families. Over 160,000 pounds of produce were
harvested just this year.
Rev. Hahn also united the County clergy by spearheading a movement founded on the value that although they may disagree on some things; they can all agree that no person should go hungry. For the first time in Calvert County history, clergy members across all faith backgrounds, in a display of unity, stood together as the Clergy of End Hunger In Calvert County, demonstrating that religious and racial divisions can be defeated when we unite behind a common need. Because of this movement, two new church‐based food pantries have opened and the level of awareness about hunger in Calvert County has grown.
Rev. Hahn has also had a great impact on the business community. As stated,over 60 local businesses make up the End Hunger In Calvert County network.Because of End Hunger’s relationship with the College of Southern Maryland and
Calvert Memorial Hospital the life of Elena Hutchinson will never be the same. Elena is a mother of four, who came to End Hunger In Calvert County through the Red Cross after her husband had committed suicide and two weeks later lost her home in Hurricane Katrina. She now has her degree as an Occupational Therapist, holds a full-time job to care for her family and for the first time in her life she has a saving account.
Here is another story of a changed life. Because of End Hunger In Calvert County’s relationship with a local car dealership, Shawn Englert was provided with a specialty van after a diving accident left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. This vehicle now allows him to build a more independent lifestyle and continue to
pursue his college degree.
It’s not about numbers, but behind those numbers are the faces of real people whose lives have been touched and transformed by the work of End Hunger In Calvert County. That success only comes from a compassionate vision combined
with the courage and passion to make it happen.
Because of Rev. Hahn’s compassion for people thousands of less fortunate families lives have been impacted. But even more, Rev. Hahn has united Calvert County. His work has influenced others to be compassionate people compelled to
make a difference in the lives of their neighbors. His legacy will live on long past his years. And that is why Rev. Robert P. Hahn is my Compassionate Marylander.

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