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Osher Collects Food, Money for Manna

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For six days over the course of two weeks, members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute brought boxes and boxes and cans and cans of food to the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus.

It’s a tradition that has been ongoing every November since 2008, when Osher members decided to hold a food drive for Manna Food Center.

This year, Osher members donated 354 pounds of food and approximately $8,000 to help the community’s hungry.

“The food drive is such an important part of Osher at JHU,” said Susan Howard, program director. “It creates a culture of philanthropy that allows our members the chance to support a community cause so worthy of our support. Again this year, the Osher members have surpassed our expectations with their amazing contributions of food and money.”

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at JHU has approximately 800 members. They are senior citizens who take non-credit courses in a wide range of subjects.

The food drive for Manna began in 2008 by Osher members Sy and Ann Sokatch. As the economy slumped, they saw the need to help those in tough financial situations.

This year, Osher members donated cereal, pasta, soup, canned vegetables, bottled water, tomato sauce, peanut butter and other items. Monetary contributions have been emphasized in recent years because Manna can leverage a $1 contribution into $3 to $5 worth of food.

Manna, the main food bank in Montgomery County, feeds about 40,000 people annually, and collects and distributes more than 4 million pounds of food a year to qualifying families.

“Manna Food Center is so thankful for the annual food and funds drive hosted by the John’s Hopkins University Osher program,” said Therese Lampe, Manna’s development coordinator. “This year, enough food and funds were collected to provide more than 330 families with nutritionally balanced foods for the holiday season. Osher’s annual contribution deeply impacts Manna’s mission to fight hunger in our community. The food and funds that were raised for Manna will help children go to school ready to learn, help a working parent feed his family and allow a senior citizen to stretch her limited budget.”

CATEGORY: Academics, In The Community