xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement

New Windsor mayor braves the elements to collect food, coats for those in need

New Windsor mayor Neal Roop, right, chats with Peggy James of Westminster who stopped by to drop off a donation of canned goods during the fourth annual Mayor on the Square Food Drive Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 where Roop conducts town business out of the office while accepting donations of food and coats. The drive benefits the New Windsor Food Bank and The Shepherd's Staff's Call for Coats.
New Windsor mayor Neal Roop, right, chats with Peggy James of Westminster who stopped by to drop off a donation of canned goods during the fourth annual Mayor on the Square Food Drive Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 where Roop conducts town business out of the office while accepting donations of food and coats. The drive benefits the New Windsor Food Bank and The Shepherd's Staff's Call for Coats.(Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

New Windsor Mayor Neal Roop stood his ground outside against the pouring rain on a chilly, windy Friday alongside a few volunteers to collect food and coats for the fourth consecutive year to benefit those in need.

The Mayor on the Square Food Drive began as an effort to collect a certain amount of food, regardless of how long it took, but has evolved into Roop collecting donations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. in hopes of reaching a set goal to benefit members of the community.

Advertisement

Roop had a few tents set up at 201 Main St. to shield him, his volunteers and the donated materials from the Friday showers. By the early afternoon, the temperatures had dropped and the wind had increased to the point that Roop had to be mindful of the tents blowing away.

All the food collected from the drive will go to the New Windsor Food Bank at St. Paul United Methodist Church.

“Whatever we receive, St. Paul United Methodist Church and the New Windsor Food Bank is going to be appreciative. We’re already off to a great start,” Roop said Friday morning.

New Windsor mayor Neal Roop takes a donation of food and clothing from Kitty Green of New Windsor as he takes part in the fourth annual Mayor on the Square Food Drive Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 where he conducts town business out of the office while accepting donations of food and coats. The driver benefits the New Windsor Food Bank and The Shepherd's Staff's Call for Coats.
New Windsor mayor Neal Roop takes a donation of food and clothing from Kitty Green of New Windsor as he takes part in the fourth annual Mayor on the Square Food Drive Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 where he conducts town business out of the office while accepting donations of food and coats. The driver benefits the New Windsor Food Bank and The Shepherd's Staff's Call for Coats.(Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

The food bank serves families within Union Bridge and New Windsor ZIP codes. The food bank is open every Wednesday between 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The first year the drive was held, Roop had the goal of gathering a mere ton of food. This year, he set a much higher goal of three tons — or 6,000 pounds — of food. Roop also challenged Taneytown Mayor Bradley Wantz to see who could raise more for their communities.

Rachel Graham, a member of the New Windsor community, wanted to make sure she could provide some help to those in need.

“We have a number of families that come to the food bank every Wednesday, especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up," said Graham.

The drive isn’t limited to just food, donors were welcome to provide toiletries, such as toilet tissue, toothpaste, toothbrushes and other hygiene products. The drive also accepts monetary donations that Roop says might be even better for the church.

Advertisement

“Every dollar equals a pound of food,” said Roop. “It’s better for the church so they can buy what they need when they need it.”

Students from New Windsor’s Springdale Preparatory School were out to help Roop fulfill his goals.

“I volunteered because I really love helping the community,” said sophomore Yonathan Samuel.

For the first time since the event began, the drive is also be accepting coats to be donated to The Shepherds’s Staff, a Christian outreach and support center, and their Call for Coats project. Call for Coats accepts more than just coats, so Roop extended the donor scale so people could offer clothes for infants to adults, from head to toe, including hats, gloves, scarves, pants and tops.

“Now this is the first time so whatever we get is more than what we’ve ever received,” Roop said. “There’s some really nice coats there. So hopefully some children [from] families that can’t afford to buy a new coat will receive a new coat this year.”

New Windsor mayor Neal Roop puts a log on his fire pit as neighbor John Lindemon stops by during the fourth annual Mayor on the Square Food Drive Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 where Roop conducts town business out of the office while accepting donations of food and coats. The drive benefits the New Windsor Food Bank and The Shepherd's Staff's Call for Coats.
New Windsor mayor Neal Roop puts a log on his fire pit as neighbor John Lindemon stops by during the fourth annual Mayor on the Square Food Drive Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 where Roop conducts town business out of the office while accepting donations of food and coats. The drive benefits the New Windsor Food Bank and The Shepherd's Staff's Call for Coats.(Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement