Monthly Update 4.20.2024: Spring Events

Dear Takoma Park and Silver Spring families and friends,

Thank you to all who attended our 2nd successful fundraiser at the home of Diana and Billy Conway on April 14th. We hope you enjoyed the beautiful Conway home, tasty refreshments, and inspiring speeches from Jamie and Sarah Raskin. Together, we met our fundraising goal to help sustain Tommy’s Pantry through the spring and summer. We are so lucky to have so many friends and neighbors who support us.

Thank you also to those who participated in our pop-up restaurant fundraiser with Kusshi Sushi on Thursday, April 18th. Everyone who dined in or picked up lunch or dinner from Kusshi helped earn 20% for Tommy’s Pantry.

The spring fundraising festivities continue through May, so please come out to support Tommy’s Pantry if you are able. Don’t have plans tonight (Saturday 4/20)? We hope to see you between 6:30 pm & 9:30 pm at the Hell’s Bottom VFW, 6420 Orchard Ave., Takoma Park to enjoy a 21+ triple-header of live band music, featuring our own Tommy’s Pantry Treasurer Kathleen Bartels on fiddle.

On Saturday, May 11th, back by popular demand, Tommy’s Pantry will be sponsoring a pet food and supply drive in support of the Humane Rescue Alliance. Whether you have a dog or cat or no pet at all, please pick up some supplies for the beautiful animals being taken care of and adopted at the Humane Rescue Alliance. Please stop by outside our space at 630 Silver Spring Ave to treat your canine companion to a pupachino and a festive photo.

Please read on for more details of all our upcoming events and how to attend and participate.


Wendy Kent, President

Upcoming Events

  • Great Music for a Great Cause: Please join the The Aftertimes, Isn’t That So?, and Celtic Underground Music at the VFW POST 350 “Hells Bottom” (6420 Orchard Ave, Takoma Park, MD) TONIGHT (April 20th) at 6:30 PM for a 21+ night of music in support of Tommy’s Pantry!
  • Pet Supply Drive: Tommy’s Pantry will host a Pet Food & Supply Drive on Saturday, May 11th from 10 am – 1 pm at 630 Silver Spring Ave, Silver Spring, MD. Stop by with your pup for a special treat and photo! We will be collecting dog leashes and new, unopened bags of dry dog or cat food to benefit the Humane Rescue Alliance. More details, including links to HRA’s Cat and Dog Wishlists, are available on the News page of our website.

Our On-Site Little Free Pantry Needs Some Love

  • Our Little Free Pantry at 630 Silver Spring Ave is heavily used and rapidly depleted. Please consider bringing some extra pasta, cereal, soup, and/or toiletries, etc. you may have at home to help keep our 24-hour pantry stocked. Thank you! 

Fundraising Corner

Volunteer Update

  • New volunteer opportunities for May have been added to our volunteer Sign Up! To join us in alleviating food insecurity in our community, visit the Tommy’s Pantry Sign Up page at Students can earn SSL hours. Ages 11 and up, and please accompany your 11-year-old if it will be their first time volunteering with us.
  • Weekday volunteers with muscle are still needed! If you are available on some Mondays, Wednesdays, and/or Fridays, we could use your help unloading deliveries and picking up our wellness supplies. Please email for more info.
  • Our group volunteer sessions are booked through the end of the school year. We will be taking a group session break until school resumes again in the fall. Special thanks to our recent volunteer groups: L&M Policy Research Group and Sligo Creek Cooperative!

Tommy’s Pantry News & Social Media

Receive Assistance with Food & Wellness Items

  • Family health/wellness and cleaning supplies distribution: Join us on Saturday, May 4th, at 7:30 am while supplies last. The drive-up distribution location is at the back of Church of the Ascension, across the street from East Silver Spring Elementary (630 Silver Spring Ave, Silver Spring, MD). If you plan to walk up, please email in advance.
  • Shelf-stable food and fresh fruits and vegetables distribution: Food boxes will be offered on Saturday, May 18th, at 7:30 am while supplies last. The drive-up distribution location is at the back of Church of the Ascension, across the street from East Silver Spring Elementary (630 Silver Spring Ave, Silver Spring, MD). If you plan to walk up, please email in advance.
  • 50% off WMATA fares: WMATA’s new Metro Lift program offers 50% off Metrobus and Metrorail trips for DC, Maryland, and Virginia customers enrolled in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). For more information in multiple languages, and to enroll, visit .
  • For the 2023-2024 school year: Families can add funds 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. To apply online, visit

Thank you for your continued support of this vital community initiative.

Wendy Kent
Tommy’s Pantry President

Sarah Goupell
Tommy’s Pantry Vice President

Kathleen Bartels
Tommy’s Pantry Treasurer

Sasha Johnson
Tommy’s Pantry Secretary 

Paula Kowalczuk
Tommy’s Pantry Board Member, Chair of Fundraising Committee

Hannah Raskin
Tommy’s Pantry Board Member, Chair of Fundraising & Finance Committee

Adrienne Tilton
Tommy’s Pantry Board Member, At-large

Joe Newman
Tommy’s Pantry Student Board Member

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.