As the temperature rose, the line grew to thousands of guests of honor who had come to experience a poverty-free day at the Convoy of Hope Frederick, Md.
“I live just around the corner and I’ve been here since before 7:00 this morning,” says one guest as he entered the gates of the fairgrounds to get much needed resources for his family.
The 2013 leg of our 50-state Community Outreach Tour was underway to provide guests of honor with essential services including; free groceries, haircuts, family portraits, health screenings and more that culminated in $1 million in goods and services to the less fortunate in the Frederick area.
Matt Thompson, west branch manager of the Maryland Food Bank, says there is a great need to feed the hungry in the Frederick area. “There are 17,000 people that are food-insecure in Frederick County – more than half of whom are children,” says Thompson. “Half of these families don’t financially qualify for federal food-assistance.”
Cindy brought her two young boys and her mother to the outreach seeking a little relief from a difficult situation.
“Two years ago I would have been volunteering,” says Cindy, looking at her new family portrait. Cindy’s family moved to Frederick for lower living costs but have been struggling since her husband lost his job two years ago. She works two jobs to help support her family and relies on her mother, Sharon, to help take care of the boys. Their family received hope and a fresh start by getting free groceries, haircuts, shoes and family portraits.
“It was an honor for us and our partners to be able to serve families like Cindy’s in the Frederick area,” says Ron Showers, community outreach director. “There are 46 million Americans currently living in poverty and our goal is to reach as many of those people as possible.”
More than 1,700 volunteers and 200 local organizations, churches and agencies were essential partners in the event. Convoy of Hope’s partner, the National Breast Cancer Foundation, saw 740 women who normally couldn’t afford a health screening. Additional key partners included Maryland Food Bank, Samaritan’s Feet, Feed My Starving Children and Plum Organics. Maryland Food Bank provided more than 150,000 pounds of groceries for the event and has been feeding the hungry in Maryland since 1979.
Frederick, Md., tour fast facts:
Total guests of honor: 3,844
Total volunteers: 1,724
Total haircuts: 274
Total portraits: 500
Pairs of shoes given away through Samaritan’s Feet: 1,000
Meals packed by Feed My Starving Children: 100,000
Food packets from Plum Organics: 8,000