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.”
By LYDIA KING
Special To The Recorder