Public Encouraged to Donate Non-Perishable Food Items for Local Soup Kitchen Spring Break Program in Exchange for Free Admission to County Museums

News Release, St. Mary’s County Public Information Office

Leonardtown, MD – The St. Mary’s County Museum Division is once again partnering with St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen, the only full-time soup kitchen in Southern Maryland, to help feed residents (most especially local children) in need during St. Mary’s County Spring Break week through their “Feed the Families” program, which provides groceries for the poorest families at three Title 1 school in St. Mary’s County.

The public is encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to either St. Clement’s Island Museum in Colton’s Point or Piney Point Lighthouse Museum in Piney Point during regular daily museum hours from Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020 through Sunday, March 29, 2020, and they will receive free admission. Though a minimum of one food item per person will be accepted in order to receive free admission (i.e., a family of four must have at least four donated items), the public is encouraged to bring as much as they can contribute. Preferred items include pancake syrup, cereal, tuna, ramen noodles, canned chicken, hot chocolate packets, pasta sauce, rice, pancake mix, and other similar foods.

St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen, founded in 1993 under the name “Mary’s Song,” is a small community-based nonprofit organization serving the underprivileged in St. Mary’s County. Though their primary mission is to serve breakfast and lunch, free of charge, Monday through Saturday, they operate many other programs of service, including those that provide to food-insecure families and children at local schools.

Kristine Millen, Executive Director for the St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen, is ecstatic to continue partnering with the Museum Division, seeing how well the first food collection went in December 2019 during the Museums’ holiday open houses: “We are thrilled that the Museum Division will continue working with us on our ‘Feed the Family’ program when our schools go on Spring Break. Our mission is to provide free meals to anyone in need, no questions asked, serving all with a spirit of compassion, dignity, and respect, so every little bit helps to make sure no one goes hungry during this time.”

In 2019, St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen provided amazing 42,000 free meals to needy local individuals, children, and families. They operate their facility on Great Mills Road and a large number of programs with a very active volunteer board of directors, two part-time staff members, and about 100 regular volunteers. They are completely independent and are not directly funded by any larger parent organization.

“The Museum Division is pleased to continue supporting the ‘Feed the Family’ program this spring break,” says Karen Stone, Manager for the St. Mary’s County Museum Division. “It is a perfect complement to the ‘Museums for All’ initiative already in place at our sites, where anyone with an EBT card can receive reduced or free admission at our museums. Our effort to collect food during this past 2019 holiday season went incredibly well, and we’re glad to continue to have St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen as one of our many important collaborating community partners.”

The public can get free admission with a food donation at St. Clement’s Island Museum and Piney Point Lighthouse Museum from Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020 until Sunday, March 29, 2020. During that time, the museums are open daily, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. until March 25, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from March 26 until March 29. For more information regarding events at the museums, or this initiative, please visit the St. Mary’s County Museum Division at Facebook.com/SCIMuseum or  Facebook.com/1836Light , or at museums.stmarysmd.com.

For more information about the wonderful work St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen does for the residents of St. Mary’s County, or how you can volunteer or donate, please visit StMarysCaring.org.


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David M. Higgins II

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in Digital Marketing, eventually leading him back to his passion. David started The Southern Maryland Chronicle in December 2017 and has grown it to become the #1 news source in Southern Maryland.

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