Monthly Update 12.17.2022: Holiday offerings, new volunteer dates & more

Dear Takoma Park and Silver Spring families and friends,

We are happy to announce a new addition to our Tommy’s Pantry board of directors officers. Sasha Johnson was unanimously voted in as our new Secretary on Saturday, December 3rd. A lifelong resident of Silver Spring and Takoma Park, Sasha has served key roles on local school PTAs and the Takoma Park 5K race committee. She brings years of organizational experience and a passion for giving back to the community and to Tommy’s Pantry. Please join me and the rest of the Tommy’s Pantry team in giving Sasha a warm welcome. 

Sincerely,

Wendy Kent, President

Special Holiday Light Bulb Kits Available on Saturday, December 17th @ 7:30 am

  • Through a generous donation from Adventist Community Services, Tommy’s Pantry will be distributing 300 lightbulb kits alongside our shelf-stable food boxes on Saturday, December 17th at 7:30am. The kits, which each include 12 LED bulbs of various sizes, are similar to the very popular kits supplied by Difference Makers last year. A huge thanks to Ken Flemmer and Adventist Community Services for sharing their lightbulb shipment with us! 

Successful Toiletries & Handmade Holiday Card Drive

  • At Takoma Park’s Gift(ing) event on December 9th, Tommy’s Pantry collected 32 toothpaste, 15 men’s deodorant, 23 women’s deodorant, financial contributions and more. Thank you to all of our supporters who stopped by the Tommy’s Pantry tent! Stay tuned to our News page and social media to learn about other in-person donation opportunities.
  • In addition to festive snowflake dishcloths, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, our December boxes also included 300 handmade holiday cards, courtesy of those who stopped by our Gift(ing) booth, volunteered with us recently, or contributed through the Sligo Creek Coop School, the Siena School, and the Takoma Park Child Development Center. Thank you to all in our community who donated toiletries, festive food items, and cards to bring joy to a neighbor’s household! Additional seasonal offerings planned for January include hot cocoa to celebrate the New Year. 

Monthly Produce COMING SOON

  • Through our partnership with Capital Area Food Bank, Tommy’s Pantry has been able to secure a monthly delivery of 320 boxes of assorted fresh fruits and vegetables. Our first shipment is scheduled for January. Check the News page on our website for real-time updates. We plan to continue this offering once per month throughout the new year.

Tommy’s Pantry News & Social Media

  • The Tommy’s Pantry website now features a News tab, where you can stay up-to-date with our latest newsletters, donation drives, and events. You can also follow us on Instagram (@tommyspantrytkpk) and Twitter (@tommyspantry) to get the latest updates and photos from our packing and distribution events.

NEW Volunteer Opportunities for January NOW AVAILABLE

  • Visit the Tommy’s Pantry SignUp Genius page to sign up to help alleviate food insecurity in our community. Students can earn SSL hours. You can also inquire about group volunteer bookings and on-site corporate volunteer events (NEW!) by emailing Sarah at tommyspantry@gmail.com. Ages 11 and up. Age minimum does not apply to group bookings.

Year End Donations Needed & Appreciated

  • Our goal for this holiday season is to make sure every person who comes to the Pantry leaves with a box complete with all of the items essential to their household.  Through your generous support, we can continue to distribute more than 600 monthly boxes of food and health and wellness products to our neighbors. As the needs of our neighbors have increased, along with the cost of groceries and fuel, we hope we can once again count on your support to meet this growing need. Also, Tommy’s Pantry is now registered with Fidelity Charitable, so if you have a giving account with Fidelity Charitable, you can elect Tommy’s Pantry as a donation recipient. Please visit our website at tommyspantry.org to donate

Receive Assistance with Food & Wellness Items

  • Boxes of shelf-stable food and lightbulb kits will be offered on Saturday, December 17th, at 7:30am while supplies last. Available at the back of Church of the Ascension, across the street from East Silver Spring Elementary (630 Silver Spring Ave, Silver Spring, MD). Walk-ups, please email tommyspantry@gmail.com in advance.
  • Family health/wellness and cleaning supplies will be distributed on Saturday, January 7th, at 7:30am while supplies last. Available at the back of Church of the Ascension, across the street from East Silver Spring Elementary (630 Silver Spring Ave, Silver Spring, MD). Walk-ups, please email tommyspantry@gmail.com in advance.
  • For the 2022-2023 school year, breakfast, lunch, and dinner will no longer be free for all MCPS students.  Funds can be added to student lunch accounts using MySchoolBucks  or payments can be made directly to the cafeteria using cash or a check. Families that qualify for any level of Free and Reduced Meals (FARMS) support will still receive FREE meals.  Apply online at www.MySchoolApps.com .

Thank you so much for supporting this important community initiative.

Sasha Johnson
Secretary, Tommy’s Pantry

Wendy Kent
President, Tommy’s Pantry

Sarah Goupell
Vice President, Tommy’s Pantry & Piney Branch Elementary School PTA Food Support Coordinator

Kathleen Bartels
Treasurer, Tommy’s Pantry & Liaison to the ESS PTA Health & Wellness Committee

Adrienne Tilton
Takoma Park Middle Paraeducator & Tommy’s Pantry Supervisor

Bryan  Goehring
TPMS Difference Makers & Tommy’s Pantry Supervisor

Leticia Read
Church of the Ascension Clerk of the Works & Liaison to Tommy’s Pantry

Tommy’s Pantry collaborates with PTA leaders, school counselors, administration and ESOL teachers from each of our schools, Blair school counselors, the City of Takoma Park, and county social workers. With the help of all of these people and organizations, we have quick and direct contact with families who need help. Rest assured that we are reaching far into the community – all across Takoma Park and the folks from the East Silver Spring neighborhood.