Children and Parents to Feed 1,000+ Locals in Need
United Way of Central Maryland’s Families Living United presents ‘Stone Soup’ Gathering
Baltimore, MD (January 26, 2011) – Baltimore-area children and their parents will gather with United Way of Central Maryland’s Families Living United program at Our Daily Bread on Saturday, January 28 to relive an age-old folk tale to feed at least 1,000 of Baltimore’s most vulnerable residents.
Nearly 150 volunteers, children and their parents, will gather to assemble casseroles and other food items to feed the clients of Catholic Charities of Baltimore’s Our Daily Bread meal service. As part of United Way of Central Maryland’s (UWCM) Families Living United program, volunteers of all ages will come together in the spirit of the old folk tale, Stone Soup, each bringing an ingredient to ultimately nourish our vulnerable neighbors who otherwise have limited access to healthy food.
UWCM’s Healthy Food Ambassador, Molly Shattuck, began the Families Living United program as a way of encouraging families to work together to help our community. “Families Living United creates opportunities for families with children of all ages to volunteer. It is important for children to be aware of the issues facing our community. Instilling the value of community service at a young age creates a new generation of volunteers,” said Shattuck. “On Saturday, children will actively participate in food preparation. It touches my heart to see how proud they are when they realize that without their efforts some hungry children would have no food at all.”
According to the Stone Soup folk tale, a traveler arrived in a new village hungry and carrying only an empty cooking pot. The villagers were unwilling to share their food with the stranger, so he dropped a single stone in the pot, filled it with water and put it over fire. Curious, the villagers began to contribute small amounts of ‘garnish’ to the stone soup, and before long it had become a hearty pot of soup.
For United Way’s Families Living United stone soup event, each child and family member is asked to bring one ingredient. Then, families collaborate to assemble the casseroles which will feed clients of Our Daily Bread in the following days. For Families Living United, it’s a lesson on cooperation and generosity.
The event also supports UWCM’s Access to Healthy Food Initiative (www.uwcm.org/healthyfood), a three-year program to increase access to healthy food by 1.5 million pounds each year.
United Way of Central Maryland’s Families Living United program organized a similar event at Catholic Charities My Sister’s Place in November. With 140 people, 43 of whom were children, the participants assembled 184 casseroles and 800 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to feed more than 1,000 people in Baltimore.
“With the support of volunteers and donors, United Way of Central Maryland strives to help our most vulnerable neighbors across the region meet their basic needs and enjoy a more independent life,” said Mark Furst, president and chief executive officer of United Way of Central Maryland. “Increasing access to healthy food in local communities is a top priority.”
United Way of Central Maryland’s Stone Soup event takes place on Saturday, January 28 at 2:30 p.m. at Our Daily Bread (725 Fallsway, Baltimore).
For 87 years, United Way of Central Maryland (UWCM) has been the region’s human service leader, encouraging all central Marylanders to give, advocate or volunteer.
Its mission is to mobilize the community to improve people’s lives. UWCM is dedicated to helping individuals and families who are vulnerable and at risk meet their emergency needs, stabilize their lives and ultimately achieve a better quality of life. By drawing upon local knowledge, data and expertise to understand the community’s needs, UWCM is able to identify where gaps exist and concentrate on what works in addressing them, serving as a powerful advocate on critical health and human issues.
UWCM supports programs and initiatives in the city of Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties.