By Lil Swanson, Jenkintown Food Cupboard volunteer
The Jenkintown Food Cupboard has received its largest donation ever from a single fund-raiser — two donations totaling $18,000 — that will be used to provide more free groceries for Montgomery County residents of limited means. You can make a donation to the cupboard here.
The record gift came in two parts. Kathi Moss, who was co-chair along with Sally Beil of a Charity Day golf outing at Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club, presented a check totaling $13,500. Seventy golfers, who participated in the event sponsored by the club’s Women’s Golf Association, also donated 1,274 pounds of food.
In addition, Lou Riggs, a longtime supporter of the food cupboard, wrote a letter to his Wednesday Golf Club buddies and simultaneously raised another $4,500 for the cupboard. The all-volunteer food cupboard is headquartered at the Jenkintown United Methodist Church, where Riggs is an active member.
Rob Hudson, president of the food cupboard’s board of directors, said he was grateful to receive the major gift.
“What this means to us,” he said, “Is that we will continue to be able to provide food for the folks who come here for help. Every single penny that comes in here goes directly to food distribution.”
Moss was joined at the check-presentation ceremony on Nov. 20 by Mary Orme, Manufacturers’ general manager. Sue Dorshimer, who pitched in on the golf outing arrangements and is a volunteer at the food cupboard, joined Hudson in explaining the non-profit’s mission.
As they talked, a team of volunteers was busy filling 1,500 paper bags with meats, produce, bread, staples such as pasta and peanut butter, and desserts. The bags stood open on tables set up in the church’s Fellowship Hall, a spacious room now lined with the food cupboard’s freezers.
“Our goal is to give out all this food,” Hudson said, his hand sweeping the long rows of tables.
The Jenkintown Food Cupboard traces its origins back more than 35 years to Muriel Happich, a Methodist Church member who saw a need in her community, began packing single bags of groceries and handing them out. Before long, she was joined by Dr. Tom Force, who kept track of finances, and Riggs, who helped create the founding principles of the nascent organization.
The food cupboard today prides itself on providing patrons a total of $1,500 worth of fresh produce a week as well as ensuring that patrons are served in a non-discriminatory and non-judgmental way. Over the past few years, the food cupboard has undergone a strategic planning process to create a firmer foundation for future growth.
The food cupboard relies on the efforts of about 60 to 70 volunteers who work all week long to prepare for and operate the Saturday distribution via a drive-through system set up in the church’s parking lot.
“It’s impressive,” Moss said after watching the bags of food fill up in assembly-line fashion. “It was good to see how organized it is and how many generous people give their time to make this work.”
To contact the food cupboard for help, email Jenkntownfoodcupboard@gmail.com.
Photo – Jenkintown Food Cupboard
Caption – Kathi Moss, co-chair of of the Charity Day golf outing at Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club, presents a check to Rob Hudson, president of the Jenkintown Food Cupboard’s Board of Directors. Also pictured, from left, are Mary Orme, Manufacturers’ general manager, Lou Riggs, longtime food cupboard supporter, and Sue Dorshimer, food cupboard volunteer.