SMCC continues to be grateful for the support of our neighbors and friends in the Bay Hundred Area, with these stories just a few of the people and organizations helping SMCC during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gourmet by the Bay
Gourmet by the Bay and their customers are helping to make a real difference by providing nutritious meals to ensure no one in our community goes hungry. This support makes a real difference in the lives of the people we serve. (And... this is the kind of good we all need to focus on right now!)
Gourmet by the Bay recently posted this note to their website:
"Once again, we would like to extend our gratitude to all of our customers who have donated to the St. Michael's Community Center Soup Program.
"To date, we have prepared, packaged, and delivered more than 1,400 quarts of soup. Additionally, as the weather got warmer, we moved from preparing soups to helping with the weekly meal distribution.
"With the help of each of you, we have delivered three different meals for up to 125 people in the community from homemade pasta bolognese to shepherd's pie to grilled chicken Caesar salads with all the traditional condiments."
Lisa Foss, Cookie Artist
Lisa Foss of Royal Oak, Md., who loves to bake and is very creative, came up with this idea to do something for others. Every week she arrives at SMCC with 150 hand-decorated cookies-check out the ones in the photo above.
These cookies are added as special treats for our food delivery and take-out guests. One of our guests last week said that she treasures receiving these cookies because they make her smile and feel cared for.
"I heard about the good work being done at SMCC and wanted to participate in some way," says Foss. "A weekly cookie donation seemed like a good idea. These are such unprecedented times we're in right now and finding reasons to smile is so important. There is such a thing as baking the world a better place! At the end of the day, if there is a need and a way you can help, why not?"
Lisa and her husband recently relocating here full-time after splitting their time between the Eastern Shore and Manhattan. Foss says for the past ten years, she had been working at various community kitchens, food pantries, and homeless shelters throughout the city.
Her work focused on a number of issues and provided a variety of services-always with the end goal of treating clients with dignity and respect. She started decorating and donating cookies for special events at various non-profits in the city because she enjoyed making them and others enjoyed receiving them.
Chris Agharabi, Restaurateur
Chris Agharabi, owner of Theo's Steaks, Sides & Spirits, Ava's Pizzeria & Wine Bar, and Hammy's Hideout in St. Michaels, Md. is another SMCC helper. He led the way in providing fresh produce for people at the beginning of the pandemic in a coordinated food drive-thru. He also knows a thing or two about who to go to and what works best when purchasing commercial kitchen equipment.
That's why we turned to Chris for advice that saved SMCC time and money when our oven broke earlier in the pandemic, and we needed to upgrade our kitchen with commercial equipment.
"Serving as the Bay Hundred area's food hub during the pandemic has had its challenges, especially when our oven broke," says SMCC Executive Director Trish Payne. "Chris was an incredible help to SMCC by hooking us up with sound advice on what to buy, and then connected us to his vendors for quick, professional service. Now our kitchen has received big upgrades, thanks to the help of Chris and funding from numerous grants."
The Hedgehogs are another great example of helpers who are helping make a difference at SMCC. The informal group known officially as the "Bay Hundred Citizens for Social Justice" is engaged in social and political activities supporting social justice, with an overall focus on being good neighbors.
Their outreach to the people SMCC serves includes several members providing homemade cookies, brownies, and other treats each week for our 150+ guests. Other members collect and provide non-perishable items, while some help deliver food in the community or volunteer directly with SMCC.
"Our group was formed to look at ways in which we might make positive contributions to our community and the country," said Hedgehog member John Scott. "At the time, one of our members happened to read a story about the scarcity of Hedgehogs in England. Their habitat had been divided into too-small units by fenced-in yards.
"The solution was found in making small openings or tunnels through those fences to give the Hedgehogs a larger functional habitat. Convoluted as it might be, that resonated with us and seemed like a good metaphor for the situation in which we found ourselves, so we adopted the nickname, Hedgehogs."
Graul's Market is another great example of those who are making a difference by helping SMCC. The locally managed and owned grocery store recently provided fried chicken for 132 delivery and take-out meals to people in need through SMCC's food support program.
"Graul's has been a steadfast supporter of the work the Community Center achieves," said SMCC Executive Director Trish Payne.
"They take being a community grocery store to another level through the community investments they make supporting SMCC and many of the other nonprofits in the Bay Hundred area. Not to mention how great their staff and deli are! We are blessed."
These are just a few examples of how the thoughtfulness and care of individuals from our community help us help others. You can help too with your tax-deductible donations.
Every dollar donated is used to operate SMCC and support our community outreach efforts.
Dear Community Helpers,
The St. Michaels Community Center in St. Michaels, Md. has been busier than ever over these past several months--more than any other time serving our community in SMCC's 30-year history.
Very soon after the COVID pandemic swept the globe and Maryland's Governor issued a stay-at-home order, SMCC was designated by the Talbot County Emergency Task Force as the Food Bank Hub of the Bay Hundred area.
With the support from organizations like No Kid Hungry, we've been able to provide 6,557 meals to our neighbors in need since April 6, 2020, in addition to distributing 6,474 bags of groceries and/or fresh produce boxes.
What is truly heartwarming are the number of volunteers who have stepped up to help us accomplish these huge tasks. Local restaurants like Gourmet by the Bay have been providing 150 quarts of soup or meals each week to help us make sure everyone is fed.
Volunteers from all over the Bay Hundred Area are baking delicious cookies, brownies, and desserts to make the meals feel like "Mom" packed 'em.
SMCC has also been fortunate to receive much-needed funding from extremely generous individuals and organizations to make sure we have everything we need to keep it going for as long as it's needed.
Thank you, for helping the helpers, and being a part of the heart of our community,
St. Michaels Community Center
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