Another year is nearly over and most of us have a lot to be thankful for; however, we have many neighbors in need. The holidays are a great time for giving back, and there are countless opportunities to do so in our area.
If you are in a position to support these community groups, remember, people need help year ’round. The holidays are particularly hard for hungry children because they are out of school and so many are fed through free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs. For the same reason, they are more likely to be hungry over spring break and during summer vacation.
Below are charitable organizations that feed and provide other support for needy families in College Park , Adelphi, Beltsville, and Laurel.
If you know neighbors or friends who are in need of help, please share this information
College Park Meals on Wheels: This program is run out of College Park United Methodist Church, 9601 Rhode Island Ave., 301-345-1010; and delivers meals to seniors in and around the College Park, Beltsville and Greenbelt areas.
College Park Community Food Bank: This pantry is based at Church of the Nazarene, 9704 Rhode Island Ave., 301-345-4616. Food distribution is monthly on the third Saturday, 10 AM to 12 noon.
Episcopal Church of Our Savior:1700 Powder Mill Road (near Adelphi), Silver Spring, 301-439-5900; Soup 2 Go and Food Pantry provides sandwiches in the summer and soup the remainder of the year to needy people every Thursday. In addition, the congregation partners with Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington to provide help with housing and job searches. A satellite office of this ministry is open at Our Saviour every Tuesday.
St. Camillus Church: This parish located at 1600 St. Camillus Dr., Silver Spring, 301-434-8400; it is in Montgomery County but just over the line from the Adelphi part of District 1. The church asks its parishioners to bring at least one food item each Sunday to replenish its food pantries. The St. Camillus Pantry is open Fridays 3-5 PM and Saturdays 10 AM to noon. For more information, email Stcamillusfoodpantry@gmail.com. The parish also has a St. Francis Emergency Assistance Fund and can help families on a case-by-case basis with rent, utilities and medical bills. Contact the parish office for more information.
Beltsville Adventist Church: 4200 Ammendale Road, Beltsville, 301-937-8118; has a full service social services center open Tuesdays and Wednesdays 9 AM to noon. No appointment is necessary. Trained social workers from the county’s Dept. of Social Services can help Prince George’s County residents apply for Food Stamps, Medical Assistance for Families and Children, Medical Assistance for Blind and Disabled, the MD Children’s Health Program and other DSS assistance. In addition, center volunteers can help with job counseling assistance and resume writing and the center offers free computer use, free bread when available, and a food pantry.
Beltsville Women’s Club: This all volunteer organization has been helping Beltsville families for almost 100 years, WCCBeltsville@gmail.com. It provides food baskets at Thanksgiving and clothes, toys and food to needy families at Christmas. Most families are referred by guidance counselors and other staff of area schools. In addition, it partners with other local groups including the District VI Police Explorers to help families in crisis with furniture, household items, winter coats and other necessities.
Laurel Advocacy & Referral Services (LARS):
a fully staffed, nonprofit social services agency
, 311 Laurel Ave., 301-776-0442
; that provides support to individuals and families residing in the 20707 and 20708 zip codes in Prince George’s County. Walk in hours are Monday 9 AM to 2 PM
and 5 PM to 7:30 PM
; and Wednesday and Friday 9 AM to 2 PM
. LARS provides emergency financial assistance to prevent evictions and avoid utility cutoff; provides security deposits and first month’s rent; and vouchers for eyeglasses, hearing aids, and clothing and furniture. It also makes referrals for shelter and operates a food pantry that can be used by clients every 30 days. Bread deliveries are made to LARS weekly and clients can get bread as often as necessary. It also offers limited funds to assist homeless clients in obtaining state-issued ID cards and birth certificates, prescriptions and other minor health-related expenses, drug treatment, and mental health support. A bilingual case manager is available to help Spanish speaking clients and a representative from the county’s Department of Social Services assists clients with submitting applications for SNAP benefits (food stamps).
St. Mary of the Mills Pantry: 114 St. Mary’s Place, Laurel, gives out canned and other non-perishable food plus bagged lunches Thursdays, 9 AM to 4 PM.
[Thanks to County Councilwoman Mary Lehman’s Office for providing this information]