Lots of folks know that before coming to Saint Martin’s, my second career was closely tied to food, and especially the issue of hunger. I obtained a Master’s degree in nutrition, coordinated the meals on Wheels program in Kent County, worked for SHARE of Eastern Pennsylvania and met many wonderful people in the world of anti-hunger both in the big city of Philadelphia and my new home in little Kent County. Saint Martin’s food pantry was like a new wonderful home to me.
We need your help to make this monthly food package better.
This month Saint Martin’s work in anti-hunger or food security as the researchers and government folks like to call hunger has an opportunity to obtain additional funding for much needed food items. The April Food Challenge needs your contribution. A generous donor will match all the funds we raise this month for the food pantry, up to $2000.
Our stock of food is very low and the federal program that provides food to Saint Martin’s is sending less food each month. Donations to the April Food Challenge will double in value and help us restock the warehouse.
Here are some examples of items that we need and the cost to purchase enough to feed 300 families from the Maryland Food Bank:
Peanut butter $385 Shelf stable milk $125
Corn Flakes $388 Brown rice $182
Please give generously and help us double your contribution to the April Food Challenge.
I want to extend a big THANKS to the Author’s Luncheon Committee members and to all of Saint Martin’s supporters who attended the 17th annual luncheon on Saturday. In addition to the warm weather we were treated to stimulating discussion and insight from the three authors, Ron Culberson, Elliott Holt and Marvin Kalb.
Ron Culberson’s story about tubing as a metaphor for what’s meaningful in life, Elliott Holt’s reflections on how her Russian friends view Vladimir Putin, and Kalb’s in-depth perspective on US and world affairs came together in unique ways.
Ben Tilghman served as Master of Ceremonies for the afternoon and guests left with the sense of another great event in support of the Ministries. Check the slide show for details.
Jean F. Austin, Chief Executive
Saint Martin’s Ministries Fighting poverty on the shore for 30 Years
NEW MAILING ADDRESS
P.O. BOX 996
Ridgely, MD 21660
410 634 2537 Ext 101
Saint Martin’s Ministries will be hosting our first annual run to “Chase Off Poverty” 5K and Family Fun Run in Ridgely on Saturday, June 7th 2014. The 5K, a timed event, and the Family Fun Run, a 1 mile event, will be held on the grounds of Saint Martin’s Ministries and The Benedictine School. The event will be a festive, family oriented event with music, vendors and local businesses set up in the runner’s village area. We are currently looking for those interested in volunteering, sponsoring and/or participating in this great fundraiser. More details will be available soon on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/St-Martins-Ministries/146146165419502. For more information regarding our “Chase Off Poverty” event, please call us at 410.634.2537 and speak with Deborah Vornbrock (extension 102) or Kim Hopkins (extension 106). Or you can reach us by email at devdirector [at] stmartinsministries [dot] org or assistanthousedirector [at] stmartinsministries [dot] org.
Saint Martin’s Ministries is very pleased to announce that we have been chosen as a charity partner for the 2014 St. Michaels Running Festival. The St. Michaels Running Festival, now in its 3rd year, is one of the premier destination races in the Mid-Atlantic. Based in one of the oldest waterfront towns on the Chesapeake, runners will be treated to gorgeous water views, a quick mile past charming main street shops for the 10k and half marathon and an after-party in downtown St. Michaels.
Last year, St. Michaels Running Festival raised over $40,000 for its charity partners, and expects to well exceed that amount this year. Saint Martin’s staff, volunteers, residents and clients will be participating in the event. We are currently in need of volunteers to assist with the Running Expo, held on Friday, May 16th, as well as for race day. Any school age volunteers will be given credit for service learning. Saint Martin’s is also encouraging anyone and everyone to join our official race team. The course for each race is flat and fast, and an easy run or walk for anyone from seasoned runners to beginners. If you are not a runner, but would like to support Saint Martin’s in the race, please visit our official team site to sponsor one of our team members, or to donate to Saint Martin’s. (https://fundraising.active.com/fundraiser/SaintMartinsMinistries)
Saint Martin’s is grateful for the help from Sudlersville Middle School 8th grade students. On September 26, a group of 8th grade students spent the morning volunteering and providing much needed help with various jobs. The Sudlersville students have been coming to Saint Martin’s for a number of years. The time that the spend helping satisfies the hours required as part of their service learning curriculum. They will come again in October and November. We welcome groups of volunteers to help in the food pantry, thrift store and house.
The Arts Dinner and Auction – Under the Big Top – was a wonderful evening filled with exceptional art and good friends. A special thank you goes to the Dinner Committee for all of their creative efforts and just plain hard work. The event is an important fundraiser for Saint Martin’s Ministries and has a direct impact on the level of services we are able to provide to those who come to us for help. This was our most successful year ever.
The Dinner Committee, Saint Martin’s Staff and all of those who are helped by Saint Martin’s offer our sincere thanks to all who attended or supported the event.
The Board of Directors of Saint Martin’s Ministries is pleased to announce two changes in leadership. Effective immediately, Jean Austin assumes the new position of President/Chief Executive Officer. Sister Patricia Gamgort steps into the new position of Executive Director, Emerita.
Jean Austin has been with the Ministries since 2010, serving as the Director of Operations. As Chief Executive Officer she will assume overall direction for the ministries and report directly to the Board. Her career includes work in outreach education, and experience with non-profit organizations in both Philadelphia and the Eastern shore.
Sister Patricia Gamgort has been a part of the leadership for the Ministries since its beginning in 1983. In her new position as Executive Director, Emerita, she will provide counsel to the new Chief Executive and continue to stay in touch with the Ministries supporters.
Saint Martin’s Ministries helps low income mid-shore families meet basic needs of food, clothing and housing. In its 30th year in Ridgely, MD, the ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit organization. Saint Martin’s House, a 2 year residential program, helps women and their children transition from homelessness to stability. Saint Martin’s receives support from United Way and United Fund. Visit www.stmartinsministries.org for more information.
For the seventh time in the past ten months, Saint Martin’s emergency food program served more than 300 families this month. About 2/3 of these families have school age children who will soon be losing the extra nutrition and calories provided by school breakfast and lunch programs.
In Caroline County, more than 2000 school students participate in the reduced price school lunch program. Only two agencies in the county offered summer food service to school age children in 2012. Summer feeding last year reached only 277 students.
The overall poverty rate in Caroline County is 14.9%, with a childhood poverty rate of 12.1%.
Sponsor a food drive to help Saint Martin’s add extra family friendly foods to our food boxes during the summer months. Check our Food Donation Policy for the list of family friendly foods we’d like to have.
Here are some tips for doing a quick food drive:
Think of a group that you belong to that would be interested. The group can be any thing you want – your golf buddies, your church, your bridge club, your 10 best friends, people you work with.
Share some of the information in this article to help people understand the need.
Select no more than 2-3 foods from the list. Peanut butter and jelly is always a good combination, or Mac’n cheese or low sugar cereal. Folks like to have a choice, so that’s why I say select 2-3 items from the list.
A drive can be as simple as everyone in the group decides to bring the items to the next get together. Or as big as you think you can handle!
Decide how your group wants to publicize the drive – a flyer, information in the newsletter or church bulletin.
Establish a collection place/time/location. Have boxes for the items to be placed in. Decorate the boxes if you want to – pictures of the food or pictures of children work really well.
Be sure to time limit the effort – a weekend, two meetings – whatever is appropriate for the group.
Let us know when you want to bring the food to Saint Martin’s so we can get a good picture!
If this all sounds like too much to do – here’s another easy way to help: Click on Donate Online on our web site. Be sure to say emergency food, or summer food or just FOOD, in the purpose line on the donation screen.
There’s a bright new check-out counter at Saint Martin’s Barn thrift store!
Many thanks to Steve Hovland and his business partner Bob Thomas who donated their time and skills to construct the handsome and spacious counter. Bob, Steve, and Gina Hovland are pictured in the first attempt to bring the new counter into the Barn. The main doorway proved to be a little too narrow and the shrubs at the door restricted the ability to turn the counter.
Our Barn has many doors and the team was able to bring in the base and counter top via another entrance (well, they also had to take off the screen door, interior door and doorframe trim). Bob and Steve’s professional skills were apparent as they calmly talked about options and Steve’s refusal to cut the base in half.
The new counter provides space for two cash registers, a change that will reduce the long lines on Wednesday evenings. The cash registers are also an improvement in the Thrift store. Prices are programmed into the registers and voucher sales are also entered. This has reduced the work effort at check-out and increased the accuracy of the sales and voucher records.
Ashley Blaine, our intern from Minnesota, served as the cash register guru. Ashley worked with Odette Boyce-Galvez, Barn Manager, to streamline the price lists, program the price codes and conducted all the training. We will miss Ashley’s quiet competence when she returns to Minnesota later this month. Olga Hernandez, our main cashier is very happy she no longer needs to record the voucher sales manually.
Olga, Odette and Ashley are pictured smiling happily about the new counter and the Thrift shop’s new look.