Thanks to Carroll County Food Sunday, nearly 600 households across the county will be able to sit down for a hearty meal this Thanksgiving.
The Westminster, Eldersburg and Taneytown nonprofit spent the past week distributing turkeys and side dishes to 592 families. Of that total, 150 were handed out Saturday by Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson as part of a “Catch-a-Turkey” event at Blaze Pizza in Westminster that the organization hopes will become a tradition annual.
“The holiday season is our busiest time,” said Caroline Babylon, executive director of the nonprofit. “This week has been the busiest.”
Babylon said most households receiving Thanksgiving dinner also come to the organization for food throughout the year.
“These are families who are already coming to see us,” she says. “They get their regular food for the week and a bag for Thanksgiving.”
Customers who receive food from Food Sunday must be Carroll County residents, but that is the only qualification. No financial information is required.
“We don’t really ask questions,” Babylon said. “It’s for everyone who walks in the door and needs food.”
During the pandemic, additional emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) payments, also known as food stamps, have been provided to struggling families. But those extra payments ended in March. This has resulted in more people needing help this year, Babylon said.
“You walk into the grocery store and everything costs (more),” she said.
With just four weeks until Christmas, Food Sunday is gearing up to help even more families.
For Christmas meals, families will receive ham or turkey, mac and cheese, corn and applesauce.
First Financial Federal Credit Union donated funds to pay for hams and turkeys this year, Babylon said.
Carroll County Food Sunday was started in 1982 and today relies on community fundraisers and direct mail solicitation of county residents for funding, its website says.
Food distribution takes place at the following locations, all year round:
- Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. and 1 to 2:15 p.m., Citizens Services Building, 10 Distillery Drive, Westminster.
- Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to noon, St. Joseph Catholic Church, 915 Liberty Road, Eldersburg.
- Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., Trinity Lutheran Church, 38 W. Baltimore St., Taneytown.
- Saturday, 9 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., Citizens Services Building, 10 Distillery Drive, Westminster.