Before leading a CBM volunteer activity at the organization’s Gaithersburg, MD warehouse on Monday, September 27, CBM Marketing Director Joe Kovacs first became aware of the Manna Food Center in March 2020 shortly after the pandemic sent thousands of employees across the Washington, DC metropolitan region to home office.
“I knew this event would have a huge impact on a lot of people,” said Joe, “but the truth is that the pandemic didn’t just create hunger across Montgomery County, it only exacerbated the kind of food insecurity that countless people in the region were already facing in their daily lives.
Joe began learning more about the Manna Food Center, a not-for-profit group based in Silver Spring, whose mission is to end hunger through food distribution, education and advocacy. The center strives to provide access to safe, sufficient, nutritious food by way of making Montgomery County a place where everyone can live in dignity. Over the course of the next year and a half, Joe continued to donate to the organization. “I tried to volunteer with them even during the height of the pandemic,” Joe continues, “but the surge of volunteers willing to come out and help was tremendous, which caused gratification, because people cared enough to get involved, and disappointment, because I wanted to do that too!
He finally found a slot volunteering as an individual in July, which found him sorting food into boxes that would be given to individual and family clients struggling with food insecurity. Inspired to do more, he coordinated a group of seven CBM team members who drove to the Manna Food Center’s warehouse to sort 1,453 pounds of food from three large blue bins that had been left outside the building to collect donations onto pallets dedicated to different food items.
Ultimately, the different kinds of food (candy and unhealthy foods not accepted!) would be packaged into boxes for families throughout the county.
“The volunteer activity was everything I’d hoped,” Joe said. “And while the last year and a half has hurt a lot of families, it’s good to know there are organizations out there who are doing what they can to help.”
To learn more about the Manna Food Center, visit https://www.mannafood.org/.
Click here to learn more about CBM’s CBM100-Charities initiative.