LANDOVER, Md. — Over 386,000 pounds of food will be distributed to charity organizations, families and businesses that are trying to make this Thanksgiving affordable for everyone.
“Think about 70 tons of turkeys,” SHARE Food Network volunteer Jennifer Newland exclaimed inside the organization’s warehouse.
Thanksgiving is the busiest time of year for the SHARE Food Network, based in Landover, Maryland, as more people and groups look to help those with less have a quality holiday meal.
More than 16,800 packages were sold for November distribution, which will yield almost 322,000 meals.
Volunteers and coordinators spent their Saturday morning buzzing around the distribution center to make sure each order was properly fulfilled and loaded into vehicles to be delivered.
“SHARE is a non-emergency food distribution network set up and structured very much like a co-op in that the more who participate, the stronger we become,” SHARE Food Network director Jayne Acevedo told WTOP.
Anyone is welcome to buy a meal package through the organization, which generally costs about 50 percent less than a comparable meal purchased from retail outlets.
“Someone can drive up here in a detailed SUV and pay us with a Gold Card and their food is exactly the same as the single mother who took two buses and only has $11.62 left on her food stamp card,” Acevedo said.
She called it one of the few opportunities to foster equality between the more and less fortunate.
The group sells these packages every month with volunteers making the entire process possible. Many local organizations like churches and a Knights of Columbus council are frequent participants, seeing the financial value of buying quality food through SHARE to then donate.
The organization is working to remind everyone that hunger doesn’t just affect people in November and December, but also in February and July.
Acevedo is also looking for businesses that are looking for cost effective ways to give back to their communities.
“They can give money here to SHARE, double their investment dollars because of our savings model, and brand themselves taking that food out into the community,” said Acevedo.
You can learn more about the SHARE Food Network and see monthly offerings on the organization’s website.