SCAN Food Pantry Carries On Mission to Help Feed South County’s Hungry
For their day of service in honor of Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday, the South County Democrats along with Majority Leader Steny Hoyer ) will be at the South County Assistance Network (SCAN) on Saturday to deliver and collect food items for the South County Assistance Network (SCAN) food pantry, located at St. James Church in Lothian.
Don and Lucy Arthur are part of a group of volunteers who help to run the 16-year-old pantry. While there was a spike in need around 2010, from 2012 to now have leveled off.
Don Arthur said that are a number of people leave, but an equal number comes in to take their place. In all, SCAN helps about 200 families each month.
Arthur said that it was important to know that people who are visiting the pantry are not getting all their food there. There is a criteria for getting food from the pantry. They have to be 150 percent of poverty, on food stamps, lost a job recently, and/or other factors.
“They can come here once a month,” Arthur said. “It is a temporary, stop-gap measure.”
Arthur said the pantry is always in need of three things: peanut butter, jelly and pancake mix.
On Saturday, the Martin Luther King “Day of Service” will involve SCAN because the South County Democrats will give a donation of $500 to purchase food for the pantry.
In addition, the Shady Side Market gave the So Co Dems 100 jars of peanut butter, 100 jars of jelly, and 100 muffin mixes for $500. Ann Wolf, president of the party said that treasurer Michael Rauh negotiated with Scott Catterton, who owns the market, to get the items at wholesale cost.
They will be at SCAN to collect food from 1 to 3 p.m.
The pantry is open to give out food each Thursday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers package brown paper grocery bags of food. Depending on how many people there are in the household, they get one or more bags.
Arthur said that the pantry is not a food bank. The pantry gets some food from the Anne Arundel County Food Bank in Crownsville. The items from Harvest for the Hungry fall campaign may end up at the food pantry in Lothian, but it isn’t marked or designated in that way.
Arthur wanted to make it clear that SCAN is a group effort. While housed at St. James church in Lothian, the pantry is possible only through the effort of dozens of people from a number of churches and ministries in South County.
One of the many helpers there is Linda Rines, who coordinates the volunteers and picks up items at the grocery stores, including Food Lion, Giant and Safeway.
Another one of the pantry’s sources of food comes from the Farmers and Hungers for the Hungry. The group donates deer meat, which Arthur said is something that struggling families often don’t get to eat because of the expense. The butcher, Back 40, in Harwood, processes the meat into ground meat and then freezes it. The group pays for the processing.
If you’d like to donate to SCAN, feel free to drop by from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Drive around back to make the donation.