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Christ Church Outreach News: March 21, 2024

Welcome Spring by Making Plans for Our Next Food Drive to be held Saturday, April 20th from 12-4 p.m. at River Hill Giant Supermarket in Clarksville

Now that spring has officially arrived, let’s plan for one of the most rewarding ways to mark the season. It’s not about cherry blossoms or preparing to plant a garden. Instead, it’s time to get ready for the Spring Food Drive, which is exactly one month away.

The drive will be held on Saturday, April 20, from noon to 4 p.m. at River Hill Giant, 6050 Daybreak Circle, Clarksville, Md., 21075.  Walk-ins and children are welcome as Christ Church continues a hands-on, family-friendly activity that occurs twice a year, in spring and fall. The one held last April was especially sweet because the pandemic had put us on pause from 2019 to 2023.

Groceries collected next month will go to two food pantries. One is the Howard County Food Bank, which is operated by the Community Action Council of Howard County (CAC). The other is SAFE, its partner pantry that provides free gluten-free and allergy-safe foods to low-income families and individuals.

The need is great among struggling households, due to inflation and other causes. To learn more about food insecurity locally, listen to Food Bank Director Carrie Ross and others on the HoCo Community Chat in October 2023, a podcast of the Howard County Department of Community Resources and Services.

During our food drives, it’s clear we are doing God’s work. Volunteers wearing Christ Church aprons or T-shirts engage arriving shoppers and offer a reusable shopping bag that displays Old Brick and contact information. We ask that they purchase items on a list that the Outreach Commission prepares in collaboration with the Food Bank and SAFE. The newly-motivated customers then shop a grocery list in hand, returning later with canned goods, boxes of cereal, pasta, and more. 

In 2023, Christ Church collected slightly more than a ton (2,268 pounds) of non-perishable groceries for the Food Bank and multiple bins of gluten-free and allergy-safe products for SAFE. Some people who declined to shop for items instead gave cash, which amounted to a total of $396 donated to CAC. Our spring and fall drives were held at Giant stores in Clarksville and Elkridge, respectively, with a total participation of about three dozen volunteers.

Next month, closer to the Spring Drive, look for signups to volunteer and fliers posted at church and online. Meanwhile, save the date and time: April 20th from 12 to 4 p.m. For information, email

Columbia Community Care Holds Anniversary Event, Asks for Baby-Care Items Including Large-Size Diapers

To mark its fourth anniversary, Columbia Community Care (CCC) held a recognition event on Thursday, March 14, at The 3rd in Columbia, MD 21044. Christ Church was represented by Vestry member Diane Phillips LaGuerre, who is a member of the Outreach Commission.

It was a celebratory occasion to look back on a time of crisis when Maryland entered a pandemic lockdown in March 2020. Many students were going hungry without the school meals that they had grown to depend upon. That’s when a local teacher founded CCC to collect and distribute essentials to families in need. After individual parishioners began helping, Christ Church became a regular supporter in June 2020.

On March 17, pantry manager April Lee posted a plea for diapers on the CCC Facebook Group: “At the CCC pantry we are now basically out of all diaper sizes except for size 1 and we have no baby wipes. PLEASE, if you are able to help us, we need diapers and baby wipes to help our struggling families. Sizes 4-6 are in the greatest demand (and there are less per box), as are 3T-4T and 4T-5T pullups.”

Please continue to collect diapers, baby wipes, sanitary and personal care items and adult diapers for CCC. Put them in the yellow bin, marked “CCC,” inside the Parish Hall. Drop off items on weekdays when the church office is open or on Sundays. The Christ Church point of contact is Leigh Smith, who monitors the bin and delivers its contents.

Those who need groceries and other necessities can find information on times and locations of three Saturday distribution sites by going online to the “I Need Help” portion of CCC’s website. Or learn how to volunteer at the sites or in other ways by visiting the “I Can Help” portion of its website.

Look for the FISH Bin on the Breezeway near the Parish Hall

FISH of Howard County needs non-perishable foods and toiletries, which we collect in the basket at the altar or in a marked yellow bin on the breezeway between the Parish Hall and Old Brick. FISH provides committed support to select families in need. The neighbors you help give thanks for all you do in their support.

In general, if you have suggestions about ways to help the community, if you want to get involved, or if you need assistance, please email Christ Church Outreach at Your help is greatly welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.


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