Wegmans, which is opening its Columbia store next month, will be donating 17,000 pounds of food to the Howard County Food Bank, providing the largest donation the food bank has ever received.
The donation will be presented May 24 at 10 a.m. at the food bank, located at 8920 Route 108 in Columbia.
"We are dedicated to working with local organizations that help everyone in the community live healthier, better lives," Wendy Webster, manager of the new Wegmans supermarket, said in a statement.
The food will include canned vegetables, canned tuna, cereal, pasta, peanut butter, soup, meal combinations and baking ingredients, according to a news release from the Community Action Council of Howard County, an organization whose programs for low-income residents include the food bank.
The food bank serves about 16,000 people a year with more than 320,000 pounds of food. The Wegmans' donation comes at a crucial time, according to Bita Dayhoff, the agency's president.
Summer is a particularly busy season, she said, when children who normally might receive breakfast and lunch in school instead depend on the food bank.
"This major donation drastically reduces the operational cost of the food bank, whereby we would have to purchase food in order to meet the needs of the community," Dayhoff said. "Now that (this) food is donated to us, we're able to continue to support the high demand by not reducing the allocation of the food we give out."