As the ongoing hunger and food insecurity continues in Maryland, Christy Woodward Moore, finds time in her hectic schedule in managing the food pantry at Perry Hall United Methodist Church, welcoming the less fortunate families who are in need to receive donated foods from the community every first Saturday and Sunday afternoon of the month.
At 48, Moore, a mother of two daughters and a teacher at Chesapeake High School, explains why finding time to coordinate the food pantry is very important as she values helping her community in providing all that she can for those in need.
Founded in 1982, the food pantry at Perry Hall United Methodist Church has partnered up with the Maryland Food Bank, which provides donated foods and goods for families in the Baltimore County area.
The amount of food given to these families is determined by the number of people within a household, where guidelines given by the Maryland Food Bank must be followed. The food pantry at this church is primarily the main basis for other churches in the area to donate foods and other goods as well. They can receive anywhere from 500 to 1,500 pounds of donated foods each month.
Moore describes her many different roles and responsibilities as the food pantry coordinator that she’s taken on over the past four years. These jobs include monitoring the food being delivered and stocking it, conducting the monthly report needed for the Maryland Food Bank, budgeting the money given from the church to spend on the food, collecting food donations from the other churches around the area, and scheduling the volunteers who work at the food pantry.
“We have lots of donated foods from many different places such as the congregation, community members, and other churches who don’t have a food pantry of their own that will collect food and donate it to us,” she said. “We also have a budget from the church that I am in charge of, where I go to Aldi’s once a month to buy the food.”
Moore first heard about the food pantry being mentioned from other members in the church. The astounding total amount of people that stop by every month inspired her to get involved with the food pantry. On average, they serve anywhere from 70 to 75 families each month, which translates to 260 to 280 people. Over time, Moore says how she creates special bonds with these families, as they come on a regular basis.
“I think that it’s just almost hard to comprehend that there are that many people who are hungry or food insecure in our community,” she said. “I teach high school so I know that there are many of our students who are food insecure and I’m really trying to do what I can to help alleviate that problem.”
According to “Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap” report in Maryland, 682,280 individuals report food insecure, which equals to 1 in 9 Marylander’s. The victims who fall into these statistics are given the help and guidance provided by Moore and the other volunteer workers at the food pantry, in hopes of diluting this issue.
She explains how this is not her first time being involved with helping out the community through the church, as her and the youth group went to the Ronald McDonald’s House where they would serve the families living there, preparing them their breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Moore said how they are always welcomed to new members volunteering at the food pantry and spreading the word on joining. Not only on their church website do they have information about this, but also the social services and county services give out their information as well in hopes of recruiting people.
“Other churches in the area know we are here, so they can have their members involved and donate food if they want,” she said. “We are the main basis to collect the food.”
As for the future outlook on the food pantry, Moore wants to continue her good will and attributions in what she has already done.
“When I’m finished here, I would like to leave this in a good place and turn it over to someone else who can build on to what I’ve done,” she said. “I’ve built on (the late) Margaret Hubert, who was the person before me, so definitely building on her legacy and moving forward to grow it.”
Skylar Anne Moore, 21, the oldest daughter of Moore, previously was the coordinator at the food pantry, but made the decision to hand over the role to her mother as she had started working full time, leaving her to be too busy.
Being in charge at the time, she created a birthday bag competition for the sunday school that consisted of collecting cake mix, frosting, candles and birthday bags that were then donated to any family members that had birthday’s the month of. Skylar also tried opening up hours on Tuesday nights, but was not pursued any further as only a few clients would come in for the three hours that it would be open.
Almost identical appearance wise to her mother, having blonde short hair, bright blue eyes, and a warm smile, Skylar sums up her mother in two simple words, caring and generous.
“I feel like she is definitely a very caring and generous person and not just only in the food pantry,” Skylar said.
She mentions how her mother is selfless in providing all the help she can not only to the clientele in the food pantry but even for her students at school, providing information to where jobs may be hiring, applying to colleges, internships, and any other resources they may need.
“She goes out of her way to make sure that everybody has everything they need, even if they mention that they’re having trouble paying their electricity bills, cable, or any other utility bills, she’ll give them resources since we can’t pay those,” Skylar said. “She will give them resources like, ‘this is the number you can call to help with your BGE, or resources for your children and school supplies for your kids and stuff around that.”
“She really goes above and beyond from just giving people food; she’s automatically a second mother to anybody she meets,” Skylar said. “She’s like, ‘here’s your food and what else do you need?”