Tommy’s Pantry Monthly Update 6.17.2023: March w/ us July 4th!

Dear Takoma Park and Silver Spring families and friends,

Happy Father’s Day to all our donor and volunteer dads! Happy Retirement to Bryan Goehring!

This is just a glance at the many incredible ways Bryan has touched so many lives at Takoma Park Middle School and the entire community. Bryan has served as an educator (Montgomery County Teacher of the Year in 2009), mentor, coach, leader and founder/director of the largest extracurricular club at Takoma Park Middle School, Difference Makers. Students from all grade levels collaborate on community service and passion projects. Over the years, students have made innumerable impacts not only at the school level, but in the greater Takoma Park community as well. 

Bryan has said that one of his most personally meaningful projects has been working with local food distribution for those facing food insecurity. In collaboration with then Principal Alicia Deeny, myself and other community members,  Bryan founded and developed a pantry in the school that families and students could access during school hours no questions asked plus a monthly Saturday distribution of produce, dairy, meat and baked goods located at Takoma Park Middle School that served TPMS families. Because of this work he was a co-recipient of the Takoma Park “Takoma Spirit” Azalea Award in 2019.

As the pandemic shut down schools, the food pantry also closed. However, Bryan continued to work in any capacity he could in order to get food and grocery gift cards to community members in need. He built countless relationships with local businesses and food distributors, and eventually helped move the Takoma Park Middle School Food Pantry to The Church of the Ascension on Sligo Avenue where TPMS Difference Makers continue to volunteer. The food bank officially became Tommy’s Pantry in January of 2021, and Bryan, of course, continues to be heavily involved.

Bryan’s retirement donation drive raised more than $4,000 for Tommy’s Pantry, enough to fund two thirds of the supplies for our next distribution of 324 boxes of healthcare items & cleaning products. Thank you Bryan! We are so lucky to have you as part of the Tommy’s Pantry team! 


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. We are excited to announce that this year’s parade grand marshall will be Congressman Jamie Raskin! 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.

Recent Events

  • Yoga Benefit Recap Many thanks to Grace Studios in downtown Silver Spring for hosting a class to benefit Tommy’s Pantry on June 3rd.  The class not only raised money for the Pantry, but helped keep our supporters in great shape!
  • Celtic Underground @ El Golfo Tommy’s Pantry would like to thank our good neighbors at El Golfo for hosting Celtic Underground in support of Tommy’s Pantry on Monday, June 5th.  We would love to make “Cinco de junio” an annual tradition! Thanks so much to friends and family who came out to support both the musicians and the mission of Tommy’s Pantry and for grinning and bearing our rendition of “Cielito lindo.”

Mask Update

  • Thank you to all who participated in the Tommy’s Pantry June 2023 Mask Policy Preference survey. The results of our survey are in & our policy has changed!

Masks are OPTIONAL during ALL Tommy’s Pantry volunteer activities (INSIDE or OUTSIDE).  (mask policy updated 6/14/23)

  • Approximately 76% of survey respondents voted in favor of the mask policy change, which will align us with building policy at our workspace at Church of the Ascension. Thank you to all who provided feedback!

Funding and Partnership Updates

  • We are delighted to report that CAFB has agreed to continue providing Tommy’s Pantry with monthly deliveries of 320 boxes of assorted fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh produce will continue to be available at all of our Saturday food distributions through July 15th (and likely to continue beyond). Check the News page on our website for real-time produce updates. 
  • We are grateful for another year of support from the Takoma Foundation, which has provided a generous solidarity grant to help us keep up with the increased demand for our wellness boxes. 

Volunteer Update

  • We need more volunteers!! Summertime means a lot of people are traveling. If you’ve been having a hard time getting a slot to volunteer, now is your chance! Visit the Tommy’s Pantry Sign Up page to sign up to volunteer throughout the summer to help alleviate food insecurity in our community. Students can earn SSL hours. If your student is strong and interested in getting more SSL hours by helping with weekday deliveries and set-up, please email us and we’ll put your student on our list of helpers. 
  • You can also inquire about group volunteer bookings for September by emailing Sarah at Ages 11 and up. With adequate adult supervision, age minimum does not apply to group bookings.
  • Special thanks to our recent volunteer group: Girl Scout Troop 34182! 

Tommy’s Pantry News & Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, & News page on our site

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

Receive Assistance with Food & Wellness Items

  • Family health/wellness and cleaning supplies will be distributed on Saturday, July 1st, at 7:30 am 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 in advance.
  • Boxes of shelf-stable food and fresh fruits and vegetables will be offered on Saturday, July 15th, at 7:30 am 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 in advance.
  • Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) offers FREE summer meals to youth aged 18 years old and younger. For locations, menus, and more information about these free summer meals offered by MCPS, please visit
  • Additional information about free food available to children throughout the summer can be found at (& en español a

Thank you so much for supporting this important 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, At-large

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

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.