Food drive donations surpass expectation

Donations being sorted for distribution to four local food pantries following a successful Stuff the Truck Food Drive at the NAS Patuxent River Commissary Nov. 2.

More than 4,300 pounds of food was donated by NAS Patuxent River Commissary shoppers during a Stuff the Truck Food Drive held Nov. 2 in the store’s parking lot.

“It was an amazing day highlighted by the lady who came up and put a $100-bill in our donations jar,” said Dennis Hackathorn, retired Navy commander and coordinator of the drive, in cooperation with the Pax River Chaplain’s Office. “It, by far, exceeded our previous donations high of just over 3,200 pounds. The generosity of our military community is amazing.”

Donations were split evenly between the local Helping Hands, St. Vincent dePaul of IMH, Good Samaritan, and Church of the Ascension food pantries.

“Thanks also to Roberto Cruz, the Commissary manager, for supporting our food drive,” Hackathorn added. “The food collected will greatly help the needy in our community.”

According to Map the Meal Gap, using statistics last collected in 2016, the following numbers show the percentage of the population in our local counties who experience food insecurity: Calvert 6.6%, Charles 11.4%, and St. Mary’s 8.2%. Food insecurity is defined as a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food.