Aims to deliver 4,200 Thanksgiving meals to underserved communities with the help of area families and donors

BALTIMORE (October 11, 2016) – United Way of Central Maryland launches its 24th annual Harvest of Plenty campaign today, and invites the whole family to give back to the community this holiday season. The organization aims to distribute 4,200 Thanksgiving dinners to low-income central Maryland families this year. Part of United Way’s mission to ensure our neighbors in need have access to nutritious foods and healthcare, a central component to broader community health issues, Harvest of Plenty has served all of central Maryland since 2011.

“Across central Maryland, there are more than 345,000 residents who are food insecure, meaning that they lack consistent access to healthy, affordable food,” said Sandy Monck, chief impact officer, United Way of Central Maryland. “Through our goal of providing families with access to nutritious foods to support the building blocks of a better life, United Way has provided 14.9 million meals to low-income families. Making sure these families have a holiday meal is a huge part of this program, and we need the help of our donors and volunteers to continue its success.”

This year’s Harvest of Plenty campaign is in need of both monetary donations, and volunteers to help pack and distribute the Thanksgiving meals. A donation of just $25 provides a full meal for a family in need, and includes traditional Thanksgiving meal items like a 10-12 pound turkey, stuffing, macaroni and cheese and other staple items that will be distributed to families across the region this holiday season.

“Harvest of Plenty is an incredible program,” said one 2015 Harvest of Plenty participant. A senior citizen, she was in need of assistance to provide a Thanksgiving meal to her family, and was grateful for the Harvest of Plenty program.

“I was amazed at how kind and accommodating the staff was when I picked up my Thanksgiving basket. It included all I could have ever imagined and was enough to not only feed myself, my son and my two grandchildren — but also my two disabled neighbors. Bringing family together and helping neighbors made the holiday even more meaningful, and Harvest of Plenty made that happen. All I had to do was call the 2-1-1 Maryland United Way Helpline to register.”

Beginning November 1, families can call the 2-1-1 Maryland United Way Helpline weekdays from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. to register for a Thanksgiving meal. The helpline will screen callers for eligibility and will refer eligible callers to participating sites to pick up their meal. The 2-1-1 Maryland United Way Helpline is a 24-hour, seven days a week confidential informational and referral service that connects Marylanders with resources for food, housing, health care, and other human service needs. 2-1-1 Maryland celebrates its 10th anniversary state-wide and this year, the United Way of Central Maryland helpline fielded over 104,000 calls in fiscal year 2016 alone.

The meals will be distributed to pre-registered families from November 14-22 at over 20 locations throughout central Maryland including To donate a Thanksgiving meal to a family in need this season, visit www.uwcm.org/givethanks.


United Way of Central Maryland Launches 24th Annual Harvest of Plenty Campaign

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For more than 90 years, United Way of Central Maryland has been improving lives in the communities it serves: Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County and Howard County, Maryland.

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