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The big day is not far off when you can dine at the Captain’s Table aboard The Love Boat. You will need to purchase your tickets by Sept. 30, if you want to get a seat at the Captain’s Table on Thursday evening, Oct. 17. Beginning at 6 p.m., at the Carroll Lutheran Village hospitality dining room, you can enjoy a cash bar and music by The Miles and Monte Show, as well as a silent auction that will feature a special Ravens fans item of a 2 1/2-hour, behind-the-scenes tour of the Ravens entire practice facility in Owings Mills for a maximum of six people. The dinner will follow at 7 p.m.

Where else can you get a menu of surf and turf and a trio of desserts for $75 and still be able to write off $45 as a tax-deductible donation to help feed the food insecure of Carroll County? The evening’s festivities and food will warm your heart and fill your tummy. Besides the cheese and crackers on the table, the dinner will consist of Mesclun salad with apples, pears, walnuts and honey Dijon dressing; warm rolls and butter; sliced beef tenderloin with Merlot demi glaze; crab cake with julienne vegetables and lemon thyme potatoes; all topped off with the trio of desserts including brownie with chocolate rum mousse, fruit and nut cake, and pumpkin praline crepe.

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Now that I’ve whet your appetite, let me demonstrate how your gustatory pleasure will help the community. This event is one of Carroll County Food Sunday’s major fund raisers that helps to put food on the tables of those who face such major upsets as the following:

⋅ “My husband left me last month. My kids and I are now living with my sister.”

⋅ “I’ve been furloughed now since winter. God bless you for helping my family during the past few months.”

⋅ “My social security check is never enough. Your groceries help out so much.”

People of all ages are therefore sustained by the generosity of people like you.

A few statistics are helpful for understanding the full scope of Food Sunday’s outreach to the community of Carroll County. For example, in 2018, Food Sunday serviced 17,510 requests for assistance. Although Food Sunday received 47 tons of donated food and 45 tons of food from the Federal Government, it still needed to purchase 89 tons of food. Just in 2018, Food Sunday spent $72,584 providing milk and eggs. Food Sunday serviced an average of 351 families per week with very wholesome and nutritionally balanced grocery packages that include meat, eggs, fruit, vegetables, breads and milk.

In the summer, Food Sunday offers “veggie vouchers” from $5 to $15, depending on family size, that may be redeemed at farmers markets in Westminster, Taneytown, Hampstead and elsewhere. Needy families use the vouchers to receive fresh food, and local farmers receive the benefit of new customers and money for their hard work. While this program benefits many, Food Sunday has committed over $70,000 in order to provide this service, a portion of the money coming from grants from United Way of Maryland and the Kalhert Foundation and the rest from donors like you and me.

Obviously monetary donors are very important to Food Sunday. Just in the first quarter of 2019 —January through March — donations provided $3,293 for eggs and $22,638 for food purchases from the Maryland Food Bank, and milk vouchers exceeded $13,000. Put another way, a $100 donation buys meat for one day of service to clients, $48 buys weekly food for a family of four, and $25 buys weekly food for a family of two.

Since 90% of any monetary donation is used to provide food to our Carroll County neighbors, Food Sunday depends on a cadre of volunteers to make the program work. In 2018, volunteers worked 7,800 hours to provide service to Food Sunday at its three locations. Such volunteer support allows your donations to pay for food, not staff. Visit Carroll County Food Sunday’s website, www.ccfoodsunday.org, to learn about its three locations — in Westminster, Eldersburg and Taneytown— and hours of operation, about food needs and donations, as well as opportunities to volunteer and all Food Sunday events.

Food Sunday events provide a means for donors to have an enjoyable time and still provide meaningful donations to unite the community. If you are still undecided about supporting Carroll County Food Sunday through its Dining at the Captain’s Table aboard the Love Boat on Oct. 17, listen to one little girl’s story of giving from a non-Food Sunday event.

A 6-year-old Runnymede Elementary School student — Runnymede is noted for sending its annual Walk-a-Thon proceeds, this year totaling $10,011.83, to Food Sunday — Harper Bowers sent $58 in cash this summer to Food Sunday, money she raised at her “Mimi and Pops party.” She also worked for an hour at the Taneytown Food Bank. Harper demonstrated her spirit of giving until it helps.

Will you do the same by securing a ticket on the Love Boat to dine at the Captain’s Table on Thursday, Oct. 17? You must hurry as the deadline is Sept. 30. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to give until it helps to feed the hungry of Carroll County and provide hope for the future.

To purchase your ticket go to the website, www.ccfoodsunday.org or call Nina Fuhrman at 443-605-3496.

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