Donations typically increase at food banks around the major holidays, but of course, less fortunate neighbors need assistance year-round. This month, Howard County scouting organizations will team up to conduct their annual "Scouting for Food" campaign in support of 30 local food pantries. Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Venturing Crews will distribute Mars Supermarket bags door-to-door, so keep an eye out for the tan plastic bag on your doorknob or mailbox flag.

The scouts invite you to fill the bag with unexpired, nonperishable food items and leave it on your doorstep or at your mailbox for pickup on Saturday, April 21. In 2011, the scouts collected more than 87,000 pounds of food, and they hope to top that figure this year.

Go to sites.google.com/site/npdscoutingforfood/home for current information on the food drive, or email scoutingforfoodNPD@verizon.net with any questions.

The food pantry at Glenelg United Methodist Church is one recipient of the Scouting for Food donations and its monthly opening coincides with this year's food drive. On Saturday the 21st, from 9-10 a.m., GUMC food pantry will serve those in need of grocery assistance. The church address is 13900 Burntwoods Road, in Glenelg.


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Guests should drive to the rear of the church, where they can follow signs to the pantry room. There they must sign in to receive Howard County food bank items, but nonresidents may still shop from the church's inventory. Food is distributed according to family size.

To learn more, call the church at 410-489-7260, or email glenelgumcpantry@gmail.com.

Band teacher Amy Syversen would like to give a shout-out to the following West Friendship Elementary School Musicians of the Month: McKenna Boyce (clarinet), Austin Cestone (trumpet), Madison Costigan (clarinet), Clare Hinds (flute), Jessica Hinkle (percussion), Paige Hockensmith (clarinet), Isabella Hwang (oboe) and Allison Polinsky (trumpet). Congratulations on a job well done!

Additional congratulations go to Erin Ko (oboe) for representing West Friendship Elementary in the Howard County Elementary School GT Band and to Su Min Kim (trombone) and Owen Reider (clarinet) for representing the school in the Howard County Honors Band. Way to go!

Lynne Quinn, from St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, would like to notify the community that the church will not hold its monthly feast this April. However, the popular event will return next month, so mark your calendars now for May 24.

Earth Day 2012 officially takes place on Sunday, April 22, but the Howard County Conservancy will celebrate the event on Saturday, April 21.

Early risers can enjoy an 8 a.m. bird hike, courtesy of the Howard County Bird Club, and then families and groups of all ages can participate in a number of service projects – tree planting, invasive plant removal, stream cleanup, etc. — from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Children will be able to make an Earth Day craft from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the Howard County Master Gardeners will also be on hand, selling plants.

Bring a picnic lunch and make a morning of it! While there, take some time to visit the Conservancy's Nature Center, as well as its outdoor animals.

The address is 10520 Old Frederick Road (Route 99), in Woodstock. For more information, go to http://www.hcconservancy.org, or call 410-465-8877.