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It is easy to focus on hunger as a distant problem in poorer states and poorer countries. But the fact is that Calvert County has its own hunger crisis right here. Local food pantries countywide are overwhelmed with the ever-increasing number of people needing their services.

The food pantries of the End Hunger In Calvert County network are serving more than 500 families per week. That’s right — more than 500 families per week. About 10,000 people per year are utilizing Calvert County food pantries.

These folks are not the homeless, people with addictions or disabilities. They are our neighbors, friends and our family members. They are folks whose work hours have been cut back, they’ve been laid off, their businesses have closed or their jobs have disappeared.

They are us. And you can help.

This is why every October has been officially declared End Hunger In Calvert County Month. During the month of October, you can support and participate in the following End Hunger events:

ź Oct. 1-31: Calvert’s countywide food drive (see our website for drop-off locations);

ź Oct. 6, 13: Community Harvest Days at the Farms4Hunger;

ź Oct. 13: The End Hunger Car Show at Bayside Chevrolet;

ź Oct. 19: Feed the Green — wear green to show your support to End Hunger In Calvert County;

ź Oct. 20: third annual 5K Run to End Hunger at Trinity United Methodist Church.

Information on all of these events can be found at our website, endhungercalvert.org.

The best part about these events is that all proceeds stay right here in Calvert County. One-hundred percent of the proceeds go to stock the shelves of the End Hunger food pantries.

Friends, we live in a blessed and prosperous county. The true test of our compassion is how we care for those in our own backyard. Consider this: $20 feeds a family of four for a month. Please support End Hunger In Calvert County Month. There’s something everyone can do.

May God bless you and those you love.

The Rev. Robert P. Hahn, Huntingtown

The writer is the chairman of End Hunger In Calvert County.