IT'S TIME for some summer cleaning. Gather up soup cans, pancake mix and other nonperishable items. Jacky Waller, who runs Bread of Life, a Savage food pantry, reports supplies are running very low.
Bread of Life receives most donations through school and church-sponsored food drives.
"Summertime is a low time for donations," Waller said. "People are away. Nothing gets organized in the summer."
Summer demand usually is lower, and there is enough to go around. But not this year.
"We have more families than last year. About 20 families come through a week now," said Waller.
Some items always are in demand, said Waller, including canned meats of any sort - beef stews, tuna, salmon or ham - that need no refrigeration. Breakfast goods are popular; the pantry cannot keep pancake mix or syrup in stock.
Diapers are always in short supply; there are never quite enough. And, any sort of canned or boxed item is always a welcome addition.
Pantry volunteers have managed to acquire a stock of perishable items. Bread of Life has a freezer, so cash donations are used to buy meat and other perishable items. Thanks to the generosity of two area Safeway markets, refrigerators hold eggs, bread and dairy items that are nearing their final sale date.
The local Weiss market also calls the pantry when breads are about to be written out of stock. In a new venture, the pantry is making arrangements with area fast-food restaurants to acquire precooked items such as pizzas and fried chicken.
All donations, food or cash, are gratefully accepted. Call the church office before dropping off items so volunteers can be prepared to receive the stock.
Bread of Life is in First Baptist Church of Savage, 8901 Washington St., Savage. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday Information: 301-725-3944.
Vacation Bible school
First Baptist Church of Savage will be offering a vacation Bible school during the evening for elementary-level schoolchildren. The course runs from July 28 to Aug. 4, beginning at 8:30 p.m. This year's theme is, "The Fantastic Good News Ocean Odyssey."
Kudos to Director Anita Cauble for organizing the weeklong event.
Information: Ellen Gosnell, 301-725-3944.
A new gardening club has taken root. The Savage Garden Club is a few months old and has a decided character. It's a working gardeners' club.
Conceived in the spring by Elaine Johansen and Michelle Allen, the club is growing mostly by word of mouth. Deb Schultz offered to organize the club and keep members aware of meetings. Members usually meet in one another's homes and move azaleas and large shrubs.
"Sometimes if you have four or five people to help with a project, it gets done. A lot of these people have little kids, and work. It's hard to find a block of time to garden," said Schultz.
At meetings, someone always brings cookies and tea. The group of gardeners, mostly from Savage but with a number from east Columbia, decided the summer is just too hot to move plants around. And, the plants wouldn't survive the transplantation anyway. So the next meeting is to be a field trip to Brookside Gardens in Wheaton on July 30.
It's an eclectic group of horticulturists. Some are beginning gardeners. Others have a strong interest in specific items, such as native plants and shade gardens.
"It's a support group of gardeners. There's no specific type of garden that we are advocating," said Schultz.
The members are trying to fix a schedule for later in the year. There's talk of a wreath-making session and a community cleanup and gardening project.
Members have already become involved. Schultz and Johansen planted day lilies and other items in newly constructed median strips on Howard Street. The plants were donated by Leighton Bourgin, whose day lilies thrive in any location.
Members share not only gardening tasks and ideas but plants and seeds. "It's an easygoing operation. Nobody is too tense," said Schultz. "This is just gardening."
For information on joining the Savage gardeners or asking advice - according to members, peonies thrive on neglect here - e-mail Schultz at firstname.lastname@example.org.