by Ari Packer
Hello! My name is Ari Packer, and I chose to work with the S.A.F.E Food Pantry for my Bar Mitzvah project this past April. I have had allergies to eggs and all types of nuts since I was two years old. Over the last two years, I had the opportunity to volunteer at the FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) Walk. My work with FARE led me to learn the about the S.A.F.E Food Pantry.
Before coming to the pantry, my sister and I used our saved money, to purchase all types of gluten free and allergy-free food for donation. When we arrived at food pantry for the first time, I was very impressed with how it worked. The bought food was weighed, totaling 143 pounds worth. I took all the food and stocked the allergy section.
The second part of my plan, was to get others to donate. I started by putting in some informational cards along with the Bar Mitzvah invitations. The information explained the S.A.F.E’s Food Pantry mission, along with an item donation list. After I accomplished that, I took a box attached with some flyers with pantry and collection information, along with an informational poster board with pictures of me stocking the shelves for the very first time. The board also had the food pantry’s mission on it.
A week before my Bar Mitzvah, I went into the K-3 grade classrooms of my Hebrew School, where I gave a presentation on my project and how they could help out! Along with this, I placed a short paragraph in the synagogue bulletin describing my project. It made me feel really good to be helping this great cause in so many different ways.
Four days before my Bar Mitzvah, I sent out an email to all of my friends asking for food item donations on the day of my Bar Mitzvah service. I also had my informational board and box out by the door so everyone could see my project. I wound up collecting a whole bin of food from friends and family! I was very happy to be able to collect this much food for such a great cause!
You too can make a difference during the month of May by participating in our Family-Led Food Drive program. Click here for more information on how to sign up.
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!
The S.A.F.E. Food Pantry is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) organization based in Howard County, Maryland.