Our Mission: Building a Stronger Community Together
Since March of 2020, Tommy’s Pantry community outreach has evolved to meet the ever-changing needs of the families we serve. As a recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in lower Montgomery County, we proudly carry the name of the late Tommy Raskin, whose unwavering belief in ensuring human dignity remains the foundation of our mission. In 2021, on Tommy’s birthday, we initiated the distribution of wellness boxes containing essential healthcare and cleaning items. Tommy’s Pantry stands as one of the few local aid organizations offering this crucial assistance. Together with the food items we provide, these products bring immeasurable relief, comfort, and joy, comfort, to countless local households.
Our Journey: Tommy’s Legacy of Compassion
The COVID pandemic has brought into sharp focus the long-standing need that persists in Montgomery County and the incredible impact of supporting one another as neighbors. Families from all walks of life have united in this collective effort, fostering a community where every resident feels acknowledged and supported, even during their most challenging moments. Through the incredible generosity of our donors and volunteers, Tommy’s Pantry distributes 300 shelf-stable food boxes, 325 wellness boxes (comprising hygiene items and cleaning products), and 320 fresh produce boxes once per month, offering vital support to over 325 local families facing hardship. Additionally, as part of Manna’s Smart Sacks program, we gather supplies, pack, and deliver 80 bags of weekend food items to East Silver Spring Elementary School each week.
Our mission is clear: to alleviate food insecurity and provide cleaning products and health and hygiene items not covered by SNAP-EBT, ensuring a fundamental level of dignity for those in need within the Greater Takoma Park/Silver Spring community.
Tommy’s Pantry emerged in March 2020 through a collective effort among leaders and volunteers dedicated to COVID-19 food relief at Takoma Park Middle School, Takoma Park Elementary School, Piney Branch Elementary School, and East Silver Spring Elementary School. While we have since established ourselves as a distinct non-profit organization, we maintain strong collaborations with local schools, government entities, and community officials to ensure that our support reaches the families in our area who require it most.
Collaborating for a Cause: Our Partnerships and Impact
As the need persists, our support network has expanded through grants and partnerships with esteemed agencies and organizations such as the Tommy Raskin Memorial Fund for People and Animals, Manna Food Center, Capital Area Food Bank, Adventist Community Services, Montgomery County, the City of Takoma Park, the Takoma Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Women Who Care, and many others.
With unwavering dedication, Tommy’s Pantry and its partners strive to make a positive difference in the lives of our community members, empowering them to overcome challenges and build a stronger, more resilient future.
What Sets Tommy’s Pantry Apart
Tommy’s Pantry sets itself apart from other aid organizations because:
We do not require ID or other identifying information from recipients. By respecting the privacy of our recipients, we gain their trust and give them peace of mind and dignity.
We add recipient-requested items to our boxes. Being responsive to our recipients is an important part of our work. After building trust among our recipient families, we now regularly survey recipients. Survey results have shown that recipients are comfortable requesting specific items that would be helpful to their household.
We provide cleaning products and health and hygiene items not covered by SNAP-EBT augmenting the aid offered by other assistance programs.