Ribbon cutting ceremony for The Light House’s new Client Choice Pantry: (L-R) Light House Culinary Assistant/ Pantry Coordinator, Liz Fleury, Light House Director of Culinary Services, Linda Vogler, Delegate Shaneka Henson, Alderwoman Rhonda Pindell Charles, Light House Supporter, Phil Gibbs, Light House Executive Director, Jo Ann Mattson
On Monday, November 25th, the Annapolis community came together at The Light House to ring in the season of giving with a special Day of Thanks event. We began the event with a ribbon cutting ceremony for the recent opening of our new Client Choice Pantry, followed by hot meals for community members in need and Thanksgiving baskets for those struggling with food insecurity. Local elected officials and other volunteer supporters came out to help prepare and serve meals and pass out Thanksgiving baskets to over 250 individuals and families. Special guests included Delegate Shaneka Henson, Alderwoman Rhonda Pindell Charles, Councilwoman Amanda Fiedler, Councilwoman Jessica Haire, and Legislative Assistant to Councilwoman Lisa Rodiven, Yanick Parker.
Recent Anne Arundel County data reports that one-third of our neighbors can’t afford adequate food, rent, or healthcare, and that over 75,000 of our county residents struggle to access fresh, healthy, and affordable food. Through hot meals, bagged lunches, and our newly revitalized Client Choice Pantry, we provide healthy food to individuals and families struggling with food insecurity. Since opening our new Client Choice Pantry system, we have been reaching a record number of food insecure neighbors. We are now distributing an average of 3,000 pounds of food each week and are on track to provide two and a half times more food than we have distributed annually in past years!
The newly renovated Light House Client Choice Pantry, which distributed an average of 3,000 pounds of food each week to food insecure community members
Our Board Member, Sam Davies, has been volunteering his time with The Light House for decades. Davies, who has been volunteering in the pantry every Tuesday since the new building at 10 Hudson Street opened in 2010, states that he has “always told community members he meets that The Light House is the best deal in town for food assistance. With Client Choice, what The Light House offers is even better. We now have a pantry volunteer greet each client, introduce themselves to the client and lead them through the pantry. It is really gratifying to see each client look over what is available in each aisle and make their selection. It adds the dignity of choice, which people struggling with food insecurity rarely get to experience. The new system has also made pantry volunteering an even more satisfying process for all who volunteer. It’s definitely a win – win solution!”
Councilwoman Jessica Haire and Councilwoman Amanda Fiedler help prepare and serve hot lunches to the community during The Light House Day of Thanks Event
During the Thanksgiving season, we also hold a basket donation drive and provide over 250 individuals and families with baskets filled with everything needed for a full Thanksgiving meal. These Thanksgiving baskets are provided to us with the help of Anne Arundel Medical Center and other local community supporters.
Interested in celebrating the season of giving by being a light for the homeless right here in our community? Visit our Holiday Needs page to learn more about the different ways you can get involved!