Local organizations and community members join together to provide
Thanksgiving meals to those in need across the region
As part of the United Way of Central Maryland Harvest of Plenty program, the nonprofit distributed 4,000 Thanksgiving dinners to low-income central Maryland families this Thanksgiving. The success of the 23rd annual program was made possible with the support of several prominent local organizations like the Community Action Network (CAN), Wegmans and the Maryland Food Bank, and more than $66,000 in donations made from individual community members. Over 100 volunteers, along with United Way ambassador and Baltimore Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb and Baltimore Ravens Ring of Honor member Ed Reed also contributed through donations and by packing and distributing meals to local families.
Twenty-three years ago, United Way of Central Maryland started Harvest of Plenty by making Thanksgiving meals available to 600 families in need in Baltimore City. The outpouring of community support spurred the expansion of the program to reach families in need in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties.
This year, Thanksgiving meals were distributed to pre-registered families from November 17 –24 at 22 locations throughout central Maryland including social service agencies, faith-based providers, food banks, community action agencies and partner outreach programs. The dinner packages fed a family of six and included traditional Thanksgiving meal items like a 10-12 pound turkey, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, green beans, collard greens, cranberry sauce and biscuit mix.
“The Thanksgiving meals we provided meant so much to our neighbors in need,” said Mark Furst, president and CEO of United Way of Central Maryland. “The majority of the recipients were seniors and young mothers who were incredibly grateful that they could now bring their families together, thanks to the community’s overwhelming support.”
Harvest of Plenty is a component of the 2-1-1 Maryland United Way Helpline, a 24-hour, seven days a week confidential informational and referral service that assists callers with issues related to food, housing, health care, utility bills, and financial assistance, among other issues. Prior to Thanksgiving, families interested in registering for a meal called the 2-1-1 helpline. The helpline referred eligible callers to participating sites to pick up their meals.
United Way of Central Maryland continues to work toward changing the odds for families and communities across central Maryland through programs like Harvest of Plenty and many others, focusing on stabilizing families with safe and affordable housing, quality education and access to healthy food and health care. For more information about the United Way of Central Maryland, please visit http://www.uwcm.org.
About United Way of Central Maryland
For 90 years, United Way of Central Maryland has been changing the odds for families and communities by investing in the building blocks of a self-sufficient life: education, financial stability and health. Family Stability is at the core of this work, which includes helping children attain the education they need to be successful; preventing homelessness and providing, safe, affordable housing; and increasing access to healthy food and health care. All of this work is underpinned by a safety net of critical service supports to meet people’s basic needs, plus the 2-1-1 Maryland United Way Helpline, which answered more than 100,000 calls for help last fiscal year. United Way of Central Maryland serves Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard Counties and Baltimore City. To help change the odds for families and communities in central Maryland or learn more, visit www.uwcm.org.