“… This was our goal from the beginning to truly unite this county.”
– Rev. Robert Hahn, EHCC Chairman
The award was given by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) and CareFirst.
Hahn, the chairman of End Hunger In Calvert County and senior pastor of Chesapeake Church in Huntingtown, was one of five Maryland citizens recognized for their contributions that impact the lives of others and go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure neighbors in need are taken care of, according to a press release from End Hunger in Calvert County.
For the award Hahn will receive $5,000 to go to End Hunger in Calvert County, a grassroots partnership of 11 Calvert County Food Pantries, more than 25 churches and 50 business and community leaders united behind the idea that hunger can be defeated in Calvert.
Hahn and his daughter, Jackie, the director of communications for End Hunger in Calvert County, explained that Hahn was nominated for the award in December when Jackie submitted an essay about the organization.
“It crosses political lines, it crosses race lines it’s a cause all of Calvert County has united behind,” Jackie Hahn said.
She said the organization made it into the top 10 nominees by online voting on O’Malley’s website.
Jackie Hahn said by advertising the voting through Facebook and Twitter, Hahn was the second highest vote getter with 6,138 votes.
She said O’Malley, his staff and CareFirst selected the five award recipients.
“The people made this happen; we only had one vote ourselves,” Jackie Hahn said. “The people of Calvert County care about the people of Calvert County, that’s what this award showed to us.”
Robert Hahn said while the $5,000 will definitely help to keep the food pantries stocked, a lack of donations has never been an issue in Calvert.
“Hunger in Calvert County has never been a food problem; it’s an access and distribution problem,” he said. “Calvert County is so generous [with donations.]”
Up next for End Hunger in Calvert County, he said, are its annual bike ride in April, the planting of its Farms to End Hunger and eventually a culinary school in partnership with the College of Southern Maryland.
Robert Hahn said the culinary school will help people earn a certification in food preparation, which he said has seen an 8 percent job growth “even in the recession.”
He said he expects the culinary school to be “up and running” in 12 to 18 months.
“This was truly a county-wide effort,” Robert Hahn said of the award. “… This was our goal from the beginning to truly unite this county.”