The S.A.F.E. Food Pantry is finishing off October with a bang. With three events in three days, our goal to spread awareness about the need for gluten free and allergy-friendly food for those in need is truly happening.
On Thursday, October 26, Dr. Donna DeCosta from FoodASC was our featured speaker at our quarterly Food for Thought session. Her talk on The 3 E's to Empowerment: Passing the Food Allergy Baton covered the main topics to Evaluate, Educate, and Equip children who have food allergies. These tips also apply to parents of those with celiac disease and other related medical conditions as well as adults. For more information on this talk, please visit: www.foodasc.com/safe. While you are there, don’t forget to sign up to join the Food ASC community.
Our fall gluten free and allergy friendly food drive took place on Saturday, October 28 at the Giant Food in Clarksville, Maryland. We were fortunate to have sunny yet cool weather as we embarked on our quarterly community food drive. We appreciate our new and returning donors for making our food drive a success. If you would still like to donate, you can:
Also, on Saturday, October 28, our Youth Fighting Hunger team was invited to the Cel-Kids Halloween Party in Baltimore. Our youth ambassador, Lily, spoke about her experiences conducting a food drive for her bat mitzvah. We are so lucky to have Lily and her mom, Sara, as part of our team. They developed the Youth Fighting Hunger- Allergy Friendly Food Drive how-to guide and customizable flyer. Tiffany was also there to talk about the organization and food drive opportunities.
We would love to have you join our team as a food drive volunteer. There are many different opportunities:
by Lily Lev
I had my bat mitzvah earlier this year, and for my project, I wanted to do something to help people who can’t eat gluten because I was diagnosed with celiac disease when I was 2. I decided to help S.A.F.E. because it is the only gluten free food pantry in Maryland. I’m fortunate enough to have gluten free food whenever I need, but for people who rely on food pantries and are gluten free, they have limited options. To help, I organized a neighborhood food drive where I left bags at houses and returned the following week to collect donations. The project was super easy and fun at the same time. I was surprised to see how many people donated food, and in total I collected 146 lbs of gluten free food.
Please see our Food Drive page or email us you are interested in more information. We look forward to working with you!
As an all-volunteer organization, SAFE could not accomplish its mission without those of you who volunteer time, attention and effort to perform all the necessary functions to serve our clients. Know that everything you do - helping with administrative work, collecting food items, communicating with the public – contributes to the strength and vitality of the S.A.F.E. Food Pantry. Our clients just know that they are able to get food that allows them to stay healthy. We at SAFE know that is possible because of you. Thank you for being the driving force behind SAFE. We could not do it without you!
If you haven't joined our volunteer team yet, it's not too late! We just posted different opportunities on The Volunteer Center Serving Howard County for your consideration or visit our Volunteer page for general information.
We are excited to report that S.A.F.E. kept busy during 2016! We took substantive action to achieve our mission by:
Due to the generosity of our amazing donors, we were able to collect over 135 pounds of gluten free and allergy friendly food at the Giant Food in Clarksville on Saturday, October 29. The food will be split between our partners, the Howard County Food Bank and Bridgeway Community Cupboard as we work with these two organizations to provide safe food in the community.
It’s not too late to donate gluten free and allergy friendly food! One Dish Cuisine located in Ellicott City is a permanent food collection point during their business hours. Look for the sealed, plastic tote in the front of the café.
Another option for donating food is through our basket program where we do the shopping for you. Help families in need who struggle with food allergies, celiac disease, and similar health issues eat safely by purchasing gluten free and allergy friendly food baskets:
$10 Gluten Free Pasta Meal
• Nature’s Promise Gluten Free Pasta
• Schar Gluten Free Rolls
• Francesco Rinaldi’s Zesty Tomato Sauce
$10 Gluten Free & Allergy Friendly Holiday Sides
• 3 Giant Canned Vegetables
• Giant Applesauce
• Schar Gluten Free Rolls
$20 Gluten Free & Allergy Friendly Holiday Sides Deluxe
• 6 Giant Canned Vegetables
• Giant Brown Rice
• Giant Dried Beans
• Giant Applesauce
• Bob’s Red Mill Cornbread Mix
• Giant Coconut Oil
• Nature’s Promise Dairy Free Milk
Please indicate in the comments which basket(s) you would like to donate.
Thank you for your continued support! We look forward to announcing our Winter Food Drive date soon.
We often think that disasters happen in other places, but we have recently learned that is just not true. The devastation in our very own community has been beyond comprehension. The lives of so many people changed forever on that July 30, 2016 evening in Ellicott City.
As with any nonprofit organization, we need you in order to serve our community. If you would like to help us with our mission to provide gluten free and allergy friendly food to those in need, you can, in no particular order:
When this organization was in the planning stages, I started to realize the importance of an effective team to go from vision to reality. I consider myself incredibly blessed to have met an amazing group of people who are part of our Board of Directors and Advisory Council. On this Volunteer Appreciation Week, I would like to introduce you to our volunteer team.
The first person outside of my family who believed in the S.A.F.E. Food Pantry was Maureen from One Dish Cuisine. Her enthusiasm for the mission propelled me into starting the organization. Although she is incredibly busy with the café and unable to serve on the Board of Directors, she is a valuable member of our Advisory Council guiding us as we work toward opening our first physical location.
Maureen introduced to me to June, who serves as our Board Secretary. June is dedicated to our mission and worked with me to build our Board of Directors. She is my rock, and I greatly appreciate her sage advice.
Then, June introduced me to Melissa, who serves as our Board Treasurer. Melissa is not afraid of a challenge as she has tackled our nonprofit accounting and bookkeeping. She is currently on leave from the organization due to the birth of her first child.
Soon after Melissa, Margo joined the Board of Directors. Margo has contagious enthusiasm and passion for our mission. She is the chairperson for our first Food Drive, which will occur in early May.
Libby was the next to join the team as a Director. Libby is super creative and has a lot of great ideas. She was chairperson for our first #GivingTuesday campaign in December and is serving as chairperson for our presence at the Community Health Fair in June.
In January we added two additional people, Sandra and Michael, to the Board making us the “Super Seven.” Sandra has an unbelievable number of community connections and a strong passion for serving the community. She is chairperson for our Client Support committee.
Michael has a personal connection to our mission and again has great enthusiasm for building the organization. He is currently serving as Interim Treasurer while Melissa is on leave.
Another important member of our volunteer team is Emily, who serves on our Advisory Council. Emily has a strong background in project management and helped us complete our first strategic plan. She will be working with us to implement our plan.
The S.A.F.E. Food Pantry would not be where it is today within the dedication and countless hours of these volunteers. A simple thank you does not fully express the deep gratitude I have for this team. We look forward to adding new volunteers to our organization soon and hope you will consider joining us as we provide gluten free and allergy friendly food to those in need.
P.S. I must also mention my husband, Allan, who puts up with my long hours and is willing to help behind the scenes. His love and support are endless, and I would be unable to do this without him by my side.
2015 has been an amazing year as the S.A.F.E. Food Pantry volunteers worked behind the scenes to build a strong nonprofit organization. We are looking forward to an incredible 2016 with new programs and partnerships.
Our volunteers are the heart of the organization. The time that they so generously donate gives us the ability to help others without the administrative expenses. Our Board of Directors, Advisory Council members, and specialized volunteers provide countless hours to propel this organization to the next level.
Another key part of our organization is the donors. This year we have be blessed with generous donations from businesses and individuals who believe in our mission. Our donors are spotlighted in the Donor Hall of Fame.
Although we have made good progress this year, it will take a lot more to open our first gluten free and allergy friendly food pantry in 2016. Please stay tuned as we continue to seek volunteers, contributors, and donors in this new year and make some awesome things happen in our community.
The S.A.F.E. Food Pantry is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) organization based in Howard County, Maryland.