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Severn food bank could get fresh water with bond bill ; Bond bill would provide funds to run line to Severn food bank

January 15, 2014

KATE YOON kyoon@capgaznewscom; By KATE YOON kyoon@capgaznews.com

The Calvary Food Bank distributes food every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. If you want to help, call 410-969-5100. With money from a bond bill introduced by Sen. Ed DeGrange , D- Glen Burnie , the Calvary Food Bank in Severn could extend a water line from the church to the food bank's storage and distribution building 330 feet away. "We get this food in there, and the food just turns around in the same condition it does when we pick it up over at the Giant or Safeway ," said the Rev. Curtis Oliver , executive director of the nonprofit that runs the food bank. Jay Norriss and his wife, Bridget, love the fresh produce they get from the Calvary Food Bank in Severn . "My wife loves the strawberries," Norriss said, though he's not a strawberry lover himself. "She loves the celery, and she always grabs a bag of grapes." To better serve people like the Norrisses, the nonprofit food bank is asking Maryland for $75,000 to have running water in its small building on the Calvary Chapel International Worship Center's property on New Cut Road . "We get this food in there, and the food just turns around in the same condition it does when we pick it up over at the Giant or Safeway ," said the Rev. Curtis Oliver , executive director of the nonprofit Calvary Community Economic Development Corp. , which runs the food bank. With money from a bond bill introduced by state Sen. Ed DeGrange , D- Glen Burnie , the Calvary Food Bank could extend a water line from the church to the operation's storage and distribution building 330 feet away. "It's huge to get water out there, to be a bit more sanitary ... because it is an inspected food bank," Oliver said. Having a water line would not only mean cleaner food, but cleaner hands. Right now, the 10 to 12 volunteers who help each week rely on bottles of hand sanitizer. About 40 youth group teens also volunteer once a month. Hand sanitizer "is not sufficient at all," Oliver said. After about 12 years, having water would be a "good general upgrade" of the food bank, the pastor said. The pipe extension is not a large project and will likely be funded, DeGrange said. Bond bills for capital improvement programs are heard at the General Assembly in March, and take effect starting July 1 , he said. "This would make it easier for them to serve people in need," DeGrange said. "It's certainly needed for the community, so I thought it was a great cause." That need for free food services like the Calvary Food Bank is growing in the Glen Burnie area, Oliver said. Oliver said the food bank started off with just one table full of food given out every Tuesday, but now has grown to an entire room full of food that is cleared out by the end of the night. "We wouldn't do this just for fun," he said. The Calvary Food Bank receives grants from the state Department of Human Resources to buy food or gets produce and other donations from Giant, Safeway or Papa Johns Farm across the street. The food bank gives a couple bags of fresh or canned food worth $20 to $25 to about 100 families each week, Oliver said. " Northrop Grumman came and brought a whole truckload of cans one time. And it was gone like that," Oliver said. "We're not the only food bank in Anne Arundel County , but people still keep coming," Oliver said. "Rain, shine, sleet or snow." On a recent Tuesday, cars were lined up outside the food bank to get free food about an hour before distribution began at 5:30 p.m. A pastor preaches a sermon before the weekly handout, and although not everyone who receives food is required to listen, many do. Norriss preferred to wait outside to beat the rush. "By the time you finish listening to the preaching, you've got no parking spot," he said before he moved his car closer to the food bank building. "You've got to get out quick to find a parking spot!" He and his wife get food at about four different organizations in the county, he said, but they've come to the Calvary Food Bank about twice a month for the past year-and-a-half, and three times this past November. "Whatever you pick, you know you'll keep," Norriss said. "It's the only one she gets the strawberries (from) where they don't mold within three days." It's also the one of the only food banks that allow some choice in what food they get, he said. "Some people don't like applesauce. But everybody gives you applesauce in their bags." Oliver said some people they help with food don't always have running water at home. "People have gotten their water turned off, and we've gotten them funding to turn it back on," he said. Two plumbing companies are currently calculating project estimates, as is required for bond bills, Oliver said. He said he hopes to potentially add sewer utilities for a small bathroom in the building for the volunteers. If cost estimates are less than $75,000 , only that much will be granted, DeGrange said. "We're not looking for any notoriety or anything, but we do have need out here for fresh water," Oliver said. www.twitter.com/yoonk8 www.twitter.com/yoonk8 www.twitter.com/yoonk8


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Source: Capital (Annapolis, MD)


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