Klein's ShopRite sponsored its annual celebrity Bagging for Hunger event at its Main Street Bel Air store on Wednesday to raise funds for area food pantries and charities which serve people in need.
The event is part of ShopRite Partners In Caring Day at ShopRite stores across six states. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued a proclamation recognizing ShopRite's efforts to fight hunger in our communities.
Since its inception in 1999, the ShopRite Partners In Caring program has donated more than $43 million to local food banks across the Northeast United States, according to the Wakefern Corp. which operates the ShopRite cooperative of regional supermarket chains.
Every Klein's ShopRite donates a minimum of $10,000 to the Maryland Food Bank, to be used to support food initiatives in the communities served by each store, the Harford County based company said in a news release.
Because each dollar buys the equivalent of three meals at the Maryland Food Bank, each Klein's ShopRite Supermarket provides 30,000 meals, every year, for a total of 270,000 provided by all nine Klein's ShopRite stores in Harford and Baltimore counties, and Baltimore City, according the news release.
In addition, each Klein's ShopRite store raises additional funds for the Food Bank, Faith-Based Food Initiatives, the Empty Stocking Fund of Harford County, and for its own charitable foundation, which supports a wide range of local charitable, food-providing organizations.
Wednesday's list of celebrity baggers included Meg Deem, president of the board, Harford Community Action Agency; Pamela J. Craig, executive director, Harford Community Action Agency; Jayne Klein, president of the board, Community Foundation of Harford County; Brigitte Peters, executive director, Community Foundation of Harford County; Laura Urban, Maryland Food Bank; Jane Brown, Empty Stocking Fund of Harford County; Mayor Susan Burdette, Town of Bel Air; Michael Krantz, Town of Bel Air director of administration; Jesse Bane, Town of Bel Air administrator; Charles Moore, Town of Bel Air chief of police; Phil Einhorn, Town of Bel Air commissioner.
Also participating were Donna Blasdell, representing Mike Perrone Harford County Council District A; "Cap'n Jim" McMahan, Harford County Council District C; Chad Shrodes, Harford County Council District D; Patrick Vincenti, Harford County Council District E; Curtis Beulah, Harford County Council District F; James Reilly, clerk of the Harford County Circuit Court; Del. Andrew Cassilly, State Legislative District 35; State Sen. Wayne Norman, State Legislative District 35; Mary O'Keefe, representing Congressman Dr. Andy Harris, 1st Maryland Congressional District; and Debbie Button, legislative aide for Jim McMahan.
Despite Maryland's status as one of the wealthiest states in the nation, many of our communities are deeply impacted by food insecurity, the news release states. While homeless people remain the most visible faces of hunger, the need for food assistance is actually increasing among children, seniors, and working families.
In Harford County alone, over 20,000 people (9 percent of the population) are food insecure, including over 10,000 children, according to statistics cited at the annual fund-raising event.
Klein's ShopRite also recognized efforts of the Empty Stocking Fund to feed and assist residents of Harford in the holiday season, announcing a donation of a percentage of total gross sales from all Klein's ShopRite Harford County stores on Wednesday to the Empty Stocking Fund, plus cash donations from customers made at the stores.
After a brief ceremony presided over by Sarah Klein, great-grand-daughter of the founder of the Klein family grocery stores, local elected officials, food distribution organization representatives and others joined the Klein family in bagging groceries ato celebrate this fight to end hunger in the community.
The governor's Proclamation was read, Bel Air Mayor Susan Burdette presented a proclamation from the town and County Councilman Jim McMahan presented a council proclamation honoring the work Klein's ShopRite and the Klein family does to fight hunger in the community.