Meals til Monday gets donation of freezer

VIENNA — Hungry children and their families can thank Cory Pitrone for his donation of a freezer to MidShore Meals til Monday. The appliance is already in use at Vienna Elementary School, where MTM volunteers do much of their work, helping to feed 350 local youngsters.


Mr. Pitrone works at Lowe’s in Salisbury. His employer gave him an especially good price on the unit, knowing it would be used to help children. Having the freezer will allow MTM to store and give away items that otherwise couldn’t be handled.


“We’d like to see how we can help, moving forward,” Mr. Pitrone said. “We’re all about things like that.”


MTM, a regional organization, was founded in Dorchester in 2017. The local group is headed by Director Leslie Bishop, who said it serves not only Vienna, but also Choptank, Maple and Sandy Hill elementary schools, as well as Mace’s Lane Middle School.


Bags are packed and distributed on Fridays to needy children, some of whom have little to eat when they are not in school. “We recognize that we’re feeding more than just the child,” Ms. Bishop said, as she acknowledged that bulk items such as oatmeal could be used by all family members.


“We operate year-round to help provide critically needed nourishment for food-insecure children who might otherwise not have anything to eat,” a statement on MTM’s social media site says. “Each child receives at least 12-14 healthy, nutritious, non-perishable food items for breakfasts, lunches, fresh fruit, snacks and a special ‘treat,’ such as stickers, a pencil, a little toy or markers. Many of these kids rely on this food to get them through until Monday when they return to school and receive the meals given there. Periodically during the year, dental hygiene kits are sent home, also warm hats, gloves and even hats in cold weather.”


Most of the food distributed by MTM comes from the Maryland Food Bank. There are other supporters, though, such as Mr. Pitrone and Lowe’s, and the anonymous donor who recently bought dental kits for all the children.


Meals til Monday is not the only group that feeds Dorchester’s hungry youngsters. Ms. Bishop said while MTM serves 350, there are about 1,000 children in local schools who receive food to take home.


To learn more about MTM, visit www.midshoremealstilmonday.org.

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at dryan@newszap.com.

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