PARTNERSHIP WITH  MONTGOMERY COUNTY “HELPS”
Montgomery County is among the most affluent jurisdictions in the country; nevertheless, as per the most recent estimates, 63,000 residents remain hungry or mal-nourished. There are several non-profit organizations working at the grass-roots level to help the hungry. HACSI has agreed to partner with the following six inter-faith organizations which have been providing this service for four to five decades:

    • BETHESDA HELPS (covering Bethesda, Potomac Kensington, Silver Spring and Wheaton): Pantry located at North Bethesda United Methodist Church, 10100 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, MD 20814 Parking entrance from Lone Oak Road
    • GAITHERSBURG HELPS,(covering Gaithersburg and Upper Montgomery County) .Pantry Located at 301, Muddy Branch Road, Gaithersburg, MD 20878, next to Pizza Hut, near Lotte Plaza
    • GERMANTOWN HELPS; Pantry located at the back of Trinity United Methodist Church, 13700 Schaeffer Road, Germantown, MD 20874.
    • OLNEY HELPS, Pantry Located at 16911, Georgia Avenue, Olney, MD 20832 (behind Fire Station)
    • ROCKVILLE HELPS, Pantry located at Twinbrook Baptist Church, 1001 Twinbrook Parkway, Rockville, MD 20851 ,near Rockville High School.
    • WUMCO (covering Poolesville, Barneysville, Beallsville, Boyds; and Dickerson ; Pantry  located at 17550 W.Willard Rd., Poolesville, MD 20837
  • HACSI’s plan is to create a network of volunteers to gather canned food items, and deliver them to the pantries listed above.  A suggested list of food items to be donated is given below:

    Boxes of Oatmeal (1 or 2 lbs.)

    Boxes of Cereal (Prefer lower sugar, approx 1 to 2 lbs.)

    Fortified Pastas (1 or 2 lbs)

    Dried Beans of All Kinds (1 or 2 lb bags)

    Mac and Cheese Mixes (standard size)

    Rice (1 lb. or 2 lb. bags preferred but no larger than 5 lbs)

    Spaghetti Sauce (18 to 24 oz)

    Peanut Butter, Smooth (1 to 2 lb.)

    Low Sugar Jelly (small jars)

    Regular Jelly or Jam (small jars)

    Nut Butters Other than Peanut (1 lb)

    Canned Vegetables, Especially Corn, Peas, Green Beans, and Carrots (approximately 8 to 16 oz)

    Canned Soup (regular size) and Low-Sodium Soups (regular size)

    Fruit Packed in Its Own Juice or Low Sugar (8 to 16 oz)

    Infant Disposable Diapers, No More than 20 in a Pack

    Steps to Hosting a Successful Food Drive

    • HACSI Food Drive is not a one-time event, but continues throughout the year. Volunteers are free to determine the group from which they will solicit participation, such as friends and relatives; office colleagues; members of an association or faith community, or a combination thereof.
    • Volunteers are requested to ensure that the goods donated are within the “Expiry Date” shown on these packages.
    • Volunteers are requested to make sure that the donated food is as per size stipulated. The pantries will NOT re-pack food into smaller packages.
    • If there are families who are unable to donate canned food, but would like to donate cash in lieu thereof, please request them to donate by check with “HACSI Food Drive” in Memo column. HACSI will send receipts to donors for such tax-deductible donations.
  • Financial Assistance to Needy Families in Montgomery County: In addition to providing canned food to the needy, the six HELPS organizations have been giving limited financial support to needy families for the purchase of  prescription drugs, rent payment to prevent eviction, payment to prevent utility shutoff, and transportation for doctor visits, etc. In 2019, the six HELPS are expected to provide financial assistance to the extent of $200,000. HACSI has distributed $13,250 to them, taking into account number of individuals served by each organization. HACSI‘s assistance roughly covers 5 to 6 percent of each HELPS’s budget for financial assistance programs.

    Please contact any of the following for any additional information:

    K.Venkatram, Phone: 301-646-1232; e-mail: kvenkatram@aol.com

    V.S.Raghavan, Phone: 301-229-4343; e-mail: vsraghavan@verizon.net

    Ram Nagula, Phone: 703-660-6734; e-mail: ramnagula@gmail.com