When I started at the Mission 25 years ago, our Food Services Department consisted of a “bread aisle,” which was basically a hallway outside of our kitchen where people could walk through and pick up a loaf of bread and some canned vegetables. This ministry was supported by a fleet of one – a Dodge van with a hole in the middle of the floor. So that the food we collected around town didn’t fall through to the pavement, we put a piece of plywood over the hole.
Around the time that Arnold Farlow came to the Mission as the new executive director, we added another van and a refrigerated box truck to our fleet. Now we were able to create new partners within our community, like Giant Food, Giant Eagle, Pizza Hut, and so many more.
As we grew in response to the needs of the community, our Food Services Department has undergone significant change. In August of 2016, we build a new Food Distribution Center so that we could better serve the public. This allows us to accommodate more guests, and to do so in a comfortable, clean, organized environment.
Also, through connecting with Butch Langernfelder we began to partner with the Maryland Food Bank, who in turn connected us with even more donors in the Frederick area. Today, the Maryland Food Bank represents the core of our donated food products and we are their largest partner.
Our partnership with the Maryland Food Bank has opened the way for us to add several large donors over the years. With the help of large donors such as Dot Foods, Armada, Sav A Lot, Costco, Aldi Distribution Center, and more we currently distribute over 2.5 million pounds of food each year.
From a bread aisle in the hallway to a beautiful new building, and a rusty old Dodge van (well-ventilated!) to a fleet of three large trucks, we wouldn’t be where we are today apart from the faithful support of others. We can minister to those in need because of all those who support the Mission with their resources, gifts, and talents, and because of those who continue to lift us up in prayer. Together, we are working to fight food insecurity and meet the needs of our community.