“Pack to Give Back Local” program takes place in Cumberland

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“Pack to Give Back” is getting local and, this time, the distribution center is right here in the Four-State area.

“Food is the cornerstone of everything. Food is the foundation,” said Senior Director of Government Relations for the Maryland Food Bank, Nancy Smith.

Volunteers gathered on Wednesday to pack, pass and distribute food for families that might need a little help this holiday season.

“They’re getting vegetables. They’re getting stuffing. They’re getting instant potatoes and everything they need to put together a meal,” said Assistant Director of the Western Maryland Food Bank, Amy Moyer.

In an assembly line format, volunteers worked together to fill 520 bags, which will go directly to families in the community.

Officials with “Pack to Give Back Local” said it’s initiatives like this that can help bring down the number of food-insecurities in the area.

In Allegany County alone, 14% of the population struggles with food-insecurity, with 25% of that number being children.

“They have smiles, but they have tears,” said Executive Director of the Western Maryland Food Bank, Diana Loar.

As quickly as the bags are pushed down the assembly line, they’re even quicker to be on their way to their next destination.

“We’re moving like a well-oiled machine back there right now,” said Manager of Community Affairs and Safety, Jason Bishop.

Once the goods have been packed, local agencies go to the Western Maryland Food Bank to distribute them to specific families.

In addition to the holiday fixings like cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes, each family will also be given a turkey, meaning they will have all the ingredients for the perfect holiday meal.

“There are a lot of families and a lot of children that don’t know if that’s going to happen at their house, so this is just amazing,” said Moyer.

Normally, “Pack to Give Back” takes place at the Maryland Food Bank’s warehouse in Baltimore, but this is the first year they’re having distribution centers in local communities in the Four-State area.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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