Ride for a Cause: MCDOT’s Annual ‘Give and Ride Food Drive’ Returns [May 26 – June 1]

The county’s Department of Transportation and Manna Food Center are teaming up to host the 31st Annual “Give and Ride Food Drive” from Sunday, May 26, to Saturday, June 1.

MCDOT encourages residents to donate non-perishable food items on any Ride On bus or at designated drop-off sites. County bus riders who donate will have their bus fare waived for that trip, according to a press release.

“Montgomery County is fortunate to have a robust food assistance network, a strong nonprofit sector, government leaders and agencies that are dedicated to ending childhood hunger and efforts like the Give and Ride Food Drive are a part of helping families in need,” County Executive Marc Elrich said. “We still have a lot of work to do, and residents can help by making non-perishable donations. “This annual food drive has an enormous impact on our residents.”

The 2023 Strategic Plan to End Childhood Hunger (PDF) revealed that at least 14 percent of children in Montgomery County, approximately 34,000, are food insecure. Additionally, the 2023 Self-Sufficiency Standard (PDF) indicated that nearly 20 percent of seniors in the county live below the self-sufficiency standard.

“This is our 31st year running this important program,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “We want to encourage everyone to donate. We are asking residents to consider making donations even if they don’t ride the bus. Non-perishable food items can be dropped off on all Ride On, extra, Flex and Flash buses or at the five participating Montgomery County Public Libraries, the Executive Office Building and the Council Office Building.”

In addition to all county buses, residents can drop off donations at the following locations:

“This past year, we have shared food resources with 50,499 neighbors experiencing hunger, but there is still a great need, especially with inflation and grocery prices soaring,” said Manna Food Center director of development and communications Mardia Dennis.

On Manna Food Center’s website, residents can find a comprehensive list of needed items and all drop-off locations for high-need items, including instant oatmeal, brown rice, whole grain pasta, canned tuna, beans, shelf-stable milk boxes, cooking oils, and spices.

Photo: © photka – stock.adobe.com / Montgomery County Graphic

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