Monthly Update 5.18.2024: Looking Ahead to Summer 

Dear Takoma Park and Silver Spring families and friends,

We at Tommy’s Pantry want to wish you a Happy Memorial Day and hope it kicks off a great summer for all. We also want to take this time to thank you for your support, your volunteer hours and your continued interest in helping our neighbors.

Earlier this month, we had so much fun meeting your pets at the Tommy’s Pantry pet food and supply drive for the Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA). HRA was grateful for the 25 leashes, 70 lbs. of dog and cat food, and more that were collected. Thank you for supporting this special drive in Tommy Raskin’s honor. We enjoyed meeting all of our human and pet participants!

As summer social calendars fill up, we have been busy filling our Tommy’s Pantry volunteer and delivery calendars to ensure that we are able to keep pace with serving local households in need throughout the summer. One recent delivery adjustment we’ve made was to increase the amount of masa (cornmeal staple of LatinX households) we offer at our food distributions. This boost from 1,120 lbs. to 1,400 lbs. allows us to serve a recent increase in recipients requesting masa we’ve encountered. 

We wish you all a safe and joyful Memorial Day weekend full of family, friends and good food.


Wendy Kent, President

Upcoming Events

  • Takoma Park 4th of July Parade If you are in town for the 4th of July, please consider marching with Tommy’s Pantry in the Takoma Park 4th of July Parade. Tommy’s Pantry marchers will gather at 9 am (location to be announced), and the march begins at 10 am. Please email Sarah at if you can join us, so that we can provide Tommy’s Pantry logo gear for all who march. More info about the parade route can be found here.

President Wendy Kent Named Montgomery County Volunteer of the Year

  • Please join us in congratulating Wendy Kent on being named Montgomery County Volunteer of the Year! Wendy’s ongoing volunteer experience with Miriam’s Kitchen, Manna Food Center’s Choice Pantry at Four Corners, Manna Food Center’s Smart Sacks program and her work establishing and managing a food pantry at Takoma Park Middle School (TPMS) has grown the food pantry at TPMS into the Tommy’s Pantry we know today. From modestly serving about 30 families per month at the start, Tommy’s Pantry now serves more than 650 families per month. Wendy continues to inspire all of us on the Board and we are so grateful for her leadership!

Leashes, Food, & More Collected for Humane Rescue Alliance

  • Thank you to all who participated in our Pet Supply Drive on May 11th! We enjoyed giving out dog treats and Humane Rescue Alliance bookmarks and keychains to all who stopped by the donation table. Together, we collected 25 leashes and more than 70 lbs. of dry dog and cat food for Humane Rescue Alliance!

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 June 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: Girl Scouts Troop #34054, Solid Ground, 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, June 1st, 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, June 15th, 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.