“We are fortunate to have known Tommy Raskin as a neighbor and a wonderful member of the larger Takoma Park community. The establishment of Tommy’s Pantry is a great way to honor someone who believed so passionately in working to assist people in need. Tommy often said “it’s hard to be human.” By providing food and other necessities for those who are struggling economically, this program helps make it a little less hard.”
– Peter Kovar (Takoma Park City Councilman) & Paula Kowalczuk (Tommy’s Pantry Supervisor)
Tommy’s Pantry is named in honor of the late Tommy Raskin. Tommy grew into an extraordinary example of kindness, grace, generosity, and humility right here in Takoma Park. Tommy’s spirit will carry on in many ways, including in this work where neighbors look out for one another. His belief in ensuring human dignity remains the cornerstone of our organization.
Since March of 2020, our outreach in the community has evolved to best meet the needs of the families we serve. Some of you joined us on Tommy’s birthday in January, when we distributed healthcare items for the first time. These wellness bags, in addition to the shelf-stable food boxes and produce we offer, bring joy, comfort, and relief to so many local families.
The preparation that goes into Tommy’s Pantry boxes and bags has highlighted a need that has long existed here in Takoma Park and Silver Spring, and the power of supporting your neighbor. Families from all walks of life have joined this effort, resulting in a community where residents feel seen and supported, even in their darkest hour. This, we can only guess, would have made Tommy proud.
We hope you’ll continue to stand alongside us, by volunteering or donating, as we honor Tommy in this work.