James Rada, Jr.
The Thurmont Food Bank did what it does best at the grand opening of its new home on March 7…it fed people.
Food trays of hot and cold foods were spread throughout the Thurmont’s former Town Office, as dozens of people crowded the building to see how it had changed now that it is home to the Thurmont Food Bank.
The biggest change is in the office area that once held the cubicles of Thurmont Town staff. The room is now lined with freezers, refrigerators, and deep shelves. Pastor Sally Joyner-Giffin, who manages the food bank for the Thurmont Ministerium, estimated that there is now about fifty percent more storage space.
“The nice thing with having more freezer space is that I can buy ahead when things go on sale, say turkeys, or when it’s hunting season and there’s deer meat offered,” said Joyner-Giffin.
The new freezers were purchased with a grant that former Thurmont Chief Administrative Officer Bill Blakeslee helped the food bank staff obtain.
The Thurmont Food Bank is currently serving about 310 families, comprised of about 1,200 people, in the Thurmont area.
“This new location gives us the ability to serve more, should we have to,” Joyner-Giffin said.
As the ribbon was cut, officially opening the new food bank, Joyner-Giffin gave Mayor John Kinnaird a dollar bill, representing the food bank’s first year’s rent to the Town of Thurmont. Carol Robertson, President of Colorfest, Inc., also gave Joyner-Giffin a check for $500 to help pay the utilities on the building for a couple months.
Many of the people attending the grand opening were volunteers who help fill the orders and serve the food bank clients. Joe Bailey has been helping out at the Thurmont Food Bank for four years.
“I’m passing it forward,” Bailey said. “I want to give back to the people in the community, because helping others is what God tells us we should be doing.”
St. John’s Lutheran Church had been the previous home for the food bank, but after several years there, it outgrew the space. The new location for the Thurmont Food Bank is at 10 Frederick Road. Although the Thurmont Public Works Department still uses the back offices in the building, all of the front offices, including the commissioners’ former meeting room, is part of the food bank.
Hours at the new location are now: Tuesday, 5:00-7:30 p.m.; and Friday, 4:00-6:00 p.m. Donations of non-perishable food items can be dropped off any time; please place them in the shopping cart in the entryway of the food bank. Both perishable and non-perishable foods can be delivered during food bank hours or on Tuesday mornings from 11:00 a.m.-noon. Please check to be sure all items are not spoiled or expired before donating them.
The food bank is always looking for volunteers to help out. If you would like to help, you can call the food bank at 240-288-1865 or visit www.thurmontfoodbank.com.