United Way of Central Maryland Launches 25th Annual Harvest of Plenty Campaign




Individuals can provide a Thanksgiving dinner to a local family in need for only $25


United Way of Central Maryland launches its 25th annual Harvest of Plenty campaign today, and invites area residents to help families in need have a traditional family Thanksgiving this year. In celebration of its 25th year, for just $25, individuals can provide a Thanksgiving dinner — with all the fixings — to a local family. This year’s goal is to provide 4,000 Thanksgiving dinners to area families.


“This Thanksgiving, as on every Thanksgiving, millions of Americans will gather around the table surrounded by friends and family as they enjoy a Thanksgiving meal,” said Franklyn Baker, president and CEO, United Way of Central Maryland. “But there are thousands more in central Maryland fighting to make ends meet, for whom celebrating Thanksgiving seems impossible. It is our mission to ensure that these families can gather their families together around the dinner table, and celebrate Thanksgiving. We’re asking our donors to help make this 25th anniversary year of Harvest of Plenty a success by joining the fight to lift the spirits of struggling families in our local communities.”


Earlier this year, United Ways in Maryland released the ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) report, which revealed that nearly 750,000 cannot afford the state’s high cost of living and don’t earn enough to afford basic necessities like childcare, and groceries for a celebratory meal like Thanksgiving.


A donation of just $25 will provide a family in need the opportunity to enjoy a memorable holiday with their loved ones. That $25 donation supplies a full meal for low-income families including traditional Thanksgiving meal items like turkey, cranberries, sweet potatoes and stuffing.


“Harvest of Plenty ensured that Thanksgiving was a special time for my family last year,” said Emily*, a participant of the Harvest of Plenty 2016 initiative. Last Thanksgiving, Emily was pregnant and in need of help for the holiday. She began having contractions on the day she picked up her food, so she worked until the early hours of the morning to prepare everything.

“Although I wasn’t there to actually enjoy the meal, my family was taken care of and they even saved me some when I came back home. I am so grateful to the Harvest of Plenty program for ensuring that my family was able to partake in this Thanksgiving tradition.”


“Unlike other Thanksgiving meal programs, Harvest of Plenty participants get to enjoy the meals they receive in the comfort of their own home,” Baker added. “All individuals have to do is call our 2-1-1 Maryland United Way Helpline to register.”


Beginning November 6, families can call the 2-1-1 Maryland United Way Helpline on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. to register for a Thanksgiving meal. The helpline will screen callers for eligibility and will refer eligible callers to participating sites to pick up their meal. The 2-1-1 Maryland United Way Helpline is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week confidential informational and referral service that connects Marylanders with resources for food, housing, health care, and other human service needs.

The meals will be distributed to pre-registered families from November 14 – 21 at 26 locations throughout central Maryland including social service agencies, faith-based providers, community action agencies and partner outreach programs. To donate a Thanksgiving meal to a family in need this season, visit www.uwcm.org/givethanks.




About United Way of Central Maryland

United Way of Central Maryland fights for the education, employment, housing and health of every person in every community. For more than 90 years, United Way of Central Maryland has been improving lives in the communities it serves – Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard Counties, and Baltimore City – through programs like its 15 Family Stability sites that prevent homelessness and help families achieve self-sufficiency, and On Track 4 Success, a program in select schools throughout the region that identifies and helps young students stay on track to graduate high school


In January 2017, United Ways in Maryland released the ALICE® Report, revealing that more than a third of Maryland households – nearly 750,000 – either live in poverty, or qualify at or below the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) threshold. United Way of Central Maryland fights to stabilize these ALICE residents and those that fall below the Federal Poverty Level.

In addition to the ALICE Report, United Way’s work is supported by the 2-1-1 Maryland United Way Helpline, a 24-hour, 7-day a week service that has provided information and referrals on health and human service needs for more than 10 years.

To learn more about the United Way of Central Maryland, visit www.uwcm.org.

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